The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has said that its request for accounts details of some categories of some politically exposed persons was without political leanings but doing its assign duties. In a press statement signed by Ahmed Dikko Chief Media Analyst said “We found it necessary to issue this second press release on the leaked letter asking for information on certain categories of public officers. This is to reaffirm the earlier press release made on Friday, 13th September, 2019”.
The press statement reads “We have noticed that while some individuals who seem to be favourable to Government are creating the wrong impression that the opposition is using the NFIU, those in the Opposition seem to be speaking through some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and insinuating that Government is using the NFIU to its political advantage. Both positions are not only untrue but patently unimaginable. It has become necessary that the officer who initiated the request was obviously unacquainted with the fact that the NFIU already had access to such information through its data base.
“It is also pertinent to note that the NFIU has the major responsibility, in accordance with global standards, to maintain and regularly update the list of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs). It will be recalled that a new government was inaugurated in May 2019. The officer who initiated the unauthorized letter was also taking the initiative to update the PEPs list. The list includes politicians and political appointees in all organs of government. The update exercise which is a regular practice in order to protect public funds and other assets is also in accordance with global best practice.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Their Excellencies, The Senate President, The Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Chief Justice of the Federation, as well as Senators, Members of the House of Representatives, Justices and other members of the judiciary are NOT under investigation by the NFIU. We appeal to members of the public that it is needless to make political capital out of this as the entire country is just one co-signatory with other 164 members of the FIU process. Having been aware that the leaked letter was not subjected to the appropriate level of authorisation before transmission, the NFIU has commenced investigation to unravel the persons and factors that led to the inadvertent circumvention of our internal process in this isolated case with a view to applying appropriate sanctions as deterrence”.