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Sunday, 5 December 2021

ISWAP Moves N18bn Annual Revenue Through Nigeria’s Financial System ...ECOWAS

ISWAP Moves N18bn Annual Revenue Through Nigeria’s Financial System ...ECOWAS



The Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, established by the Economic Community of West African States, says Boko Haram splinter group, Islamic State West Africa Province, moved about N18bn ($36m) generated from trading and taxing communities in the Lake Chad region through the Nigerian financial system annually.

The group, set up by ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government in 2000, stated that both Boko Haram and ISWAP had continued to mobilise, move and utilise funds through the nation’s formal financial and commercial system.

It noted that the government lacked adequate insight into Boko Haram and ISWAP international linkages and abuse of the formal financial and commercial sectors.

It said even though the Department of State Services had significant ability to identify and investigate terrorist financing activity, and that it even conducts parallel financial and terrorism investigation, there was little evidence of the effectiveness of such efforts.

The group, known as GIABA, stated these in its 2021 Mutual Evaluation Report, where it also noted that Nigeria lacked an explicit policy to confiscate proceeds of crime or property of equivalent value, including terrorism financing.

It also said the Nigerian government, led by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), failed to confiscate the assets of terrorists as stipulated in the global anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards.

Nigeria has been battling Boko Haram insurgency for about 12 years, during which thousands have been killed, including civilians and soldiers; several persons, including schoolchildren and women, were kidnapped with many still in captivity while millions have been displaced.

Meanwhile, the GIABA report was adopted by the global financial intelligence agency, Financial Action Task Force, whose recommendations help authorities to go after the money of criminals dealing in illegal drugs, human trafficking and other crimes.

The report stated, “Boko Haram/ISWAP pose significant TF (Terrorist Financing) risks that are challenging to disrupt, operating in large part outside the formal financial and commercial system in the conflict zone.

“In these areas, Boko Haram and ISWAP are mainly able to “live off the land” through a variety of means, including kidnapping for ransom, extortion and taxation, raiding and controlling commercial activity.

“As with other forms of illicit financial activity, the pervasive use of cash enables these groups’ funding. A study estimated ISWAP’s revenues, deemed larger than Boko Haram’s, at up to USD$36m annually, much of it from trading activity and taxation in the Lake Chad region.

“According to Nigerian authorities, both groups have also continued to mobilise, move and utilise funds through the formal financial and commercial system as well, accounting for a relatively small portion of TF activity. These groups also engage in international trafficking activities and as sworn adherents to the Islamic State, also have links with other regional and global terrorist networks.

“The authorities believe that any external support from ISIS Core may account for a small portion of ISWAP’s overall revenues. However, trade with broader criminal networks that could extend to regional jihadist organisations appears to generate significant income for both Boko Haram and ISWAP.”

The Financial Action Task Force assessment noted that the Nigerian authorities did not prioritise terrorism financing investigations, as there were only a few terrorist financing prosecutions and convictions, which do not reflect the country’s risk profile in terrorist financing.

Notably, no individual, body or corporation has been convicted in Nigeria for funding terrorism since the insurgency started in 2009.

The Task Force said in the assessment, “Nigeria has a significant but incomplete understanding of its TF (terrorist financing) threats and risks. It lacks adequate insight into Boko/ISWAP’s international linkages and abuse of the formal financial and commercial sector. The authorities do not prioritise TF investigations, as there are only a few TF prosecutions and convictions which do not reflect Nigeria’s TF risk profile.

“The Department of State Services, Nigeria’s lead counter-terrorism agency, has significant ability to identify and investigate TF activity. It conducts parallel financial investigations in conjunction with terrorism investigations. However, there is little evidence of the effectiveness of such efforts.

“The content of TF-related Suspicious Transactions Reports submitted to the NFIU (Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit) has not been of demonstrable value, appearing to add little to Nigeria’s CFT (Combating the Financing of Terrorism) efforts. The agency maintained that Nigeria did not demonstrate effective legal and operational frameworks for seeking international cooperation, including for the recovery and repatriation of assets.

“Nigeria did not demonstrate that it prioritises and provides constructive information or assistance, including adequate, accurate and current basic and beneficial owner information of legal persons promptly.”

It noted that the nation recently enacted the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, 2019 to streamline processes for mutual legal assistance

The financial task force observed that the larger commercial banks and those affiliated with international groups have a good understanding of money laundering and terrorism financing risks.

In contrast, it submitted that the non-bank financial sector such as bureau de change, microfinance banks and insurance intermediaries have a low level of understanding of money laundering and terrorism financing risks, stressing that the level of supervision of registered/licensed forex dealers was not commensurate with the risk of the sector.

“At the same time, thousands of forex dealers operate informally and are entirely unsupervised,’’ the GIABA report affirmed.

Already, the Central Bank of Nigeria in July suspended sale of forex to BDCs due to what it termed illegal activities and corrupt tendencies. The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said Nigeria was the only country selling foreign exchange to BDCs.

He said the apex bank sustained the practice because of the role the BDCs played in the economy, but that it was disappointing to find that they turned themselves into agents that facilitated graft and corruption in Nigeria, which necessitated their suspension.

About 400 BDC operators and traders were arrested in Kano, Borno, Abuja, Lagos, Sokoto, Adamawa, Kaduna and Zamfara for alleged money laundering and terrorism financing by security agencies in March while 190 others nabbed for alleged link to terrorism reportedly paid N900m in penalties before they were allowed to return to their business.

Months after they were apprehended and despite promises by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, the suspects have not been arraigned or prosecuted.


Six Months After Demise  , T B Joshua's Synagogue Church Resumes Physical Services Today

Six Months After Demise , T B Joshua's Synagogue Church Resumes Physical Services Today


After 21 months of protracted closure and public suspense on reopening the Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) for physical church activities, the church will today resume full physical activities at the Ikotun Egbe, Lagos headquarters of the church.

A source at the public relations department of the church revealed that the church would be opened to global members of the church who had been yearning for it to begin the usual physical service programmes.

It is recalled that the founder and General Overseer of the ministry, late Prophet T.B Joshua in March 2020, suspended the regular Sunday services following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which left social and economic activities paralysed globally.

Till his passing on June 5, the church remained under lock, with the late cleric insisting it would only be re-opened when there were divine instructions to that effect.

There has been a lot of pressure from global members for the church to resume services after the passing of its late founder, but the church’s new leadership under Prophetess Mrs. Evelyn TBJoshua maintained the position of her late husband that, “the reopening of the church for normal Sunday services will only commence with the intimation of the Holy Spirit.

Police Arrests Nnamani Brothers For Raping Minor In Enugu

Police Arrests Nnamani Brothers For Raping Minor In Enugu



Police have arrested and are investigating case of two brothers, Chima Nnamani and Michael Nnamani, for allegedly involvement in serial raping of a nine-year-old minor within Enugu community.


The two brothers, who are from the same biological parents, hail and live within the Akpawfu community in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State.

The Enugu State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Daniel Ndukwe, confirmed the incident to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Saturday.


“Case-file and suspects involved in the case of alleged defilement of a nine-year-old have all been transferred to State Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Enugu, for conclusive investigation,” he said.

The Founder of Women Aid Collective (WACOL), Prof. Joy Ezeilo, had called for the immediate prosecution of the two suspects arrested for allegedly defiling the minor within a community in Enugu State.


Ezeilo, who is also the Executive Director of WACOL, made the call in a statement made available to NAN in Enugu.

The statement read in part: “On Nov. 28, 2021, WACOL  received a case of defilement of a nine-year-old girl by two brothers from the same biological parents, Chima Nnamani and Michael Nnamani,  from Akpawfu community.


“The accused persons had been allegedly arrested for serially violating  a nine-year-old relative living with them.

“While narrating her ordeal in the hands of these perpetrators, the victim mentioned how this heinous act perpetrated against her body started immediately when she arrived to live with them in their place of abode and had continued on a daily basis especially in the morning hours.


“She stated that she often bled profusely afterwards, yet no one offered her any help or treatment.

“The victim added that she had complained to her Aunty, Mrs Theresa Nnamani, severally who happened to be her father’s step sister about the wicked act but she remained adamant because these perpetrators were her biological sons.

“She added that her Aunty had returned home unexpectedly in one of the fateful days and witnessed the incident where her sons were sexually abusing her yet she did nothing to end the sexual abuses.

“The child was brought to WACOL by Good Samaritans who disclosed that the child complained of severe pains, and when they probed further she confided in them about her ordeal in her aunty’s house.

“Following the report, WACOL has petitioned the Nigerian Police (MTD), Garki, Awkunanaw in Enugu, which  led to the arrest of Michael Nnamani and his brother, Chima Nnamani, who is a student of  University of Uyo.

“WACOL, therefore, urges the Nigerian Police to expedite action on the matter by charging the case to court as required under the Criminal Law of Enugu State and the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law (VAPPL 2015) of Enugu State.”

(NAN)

Former Chief Of Army Staff Dies In London

Former Chief Of Army Staff Dies In London


 The Former Chief of Army Staff, General Mohammed Inuwa Wushishi, is dead.

According to a family source, General Wushishi died at a London Hospital.

General Wushishi was born in 1940 in Wushishi, Headquarters of Wushishi Local Government Area of Niger State.

He served as the Chief of Army Staff between October 1981 and October 1983, during the Second Republic.

He served in the Nigerian Army in various capacities, including General Officer Commanding, 4 Infantry Division, Nigerian Army, 1976; Commandant, Staff College, Jaji, Dec. 1979.

Kwam 1  Management Must Pay Me Back My Money...Comedian Elenu Insists

Kwam 1 Management Must Pay Me Back My Money...Comedian Elenu Insists



Comedian, Babatunde Akinlami, popularly known as Elenu, has said that if a show promoter, Mike Fash, does not refund the money he paid to secure fuji musician, K1 d Ultimate’s performance in the United States of America, he would continue to ‘drag’ him on social media.

Elenu told Sunday Scoop, “I had come across a flier for K1 D Ultimate Live in America between September and October. I reached out to a friend to know the to management company involved. That was how I was introduced to Orbit Entertainment and the show promoter, Mike Fash. We then struck a deal. It was an all-inclusive deal and the show was supposed to hold on September 6, 2021. Money was paid 90 per cent upfront, remaining a balance of 25, 000 dollars.

“I suspected that something like that could happen because it was my first time working with Orbit Entertainment. I asked Fash if all the artistes had got their visas, work permits and other things they needed to perform in the US. He said ‘yes’. I asked him to put it in the contract and he did. We signed the contract and money exchanged hands at different times.”

Elenu further said that when he requested for a promotional video from K1 confirming his attendance for the show, he was given different excuses. He added, “They are saying that when Alhaji (K1) arrives, they would get back to me. So far, the contract has been breached and no solution has been reached. They have remained incommunicado and they expect us to act like they are doing us a favor.”


Elenu, who rose to fame after winning AY’s Open Mic comedy competition in 2006, maintained that he was still an active comedian despite his relocation to the United States. He said, “I have still been doing many events here since 2018.

 There is not much difference being a comedian in the United States and in Nigeria. The most important thing is one’s ability to communicate with the audience. I have been to all the states in the US and I can conveniently hold shows here because of my popularity back in Nigeria and in almost every area here, you would find Nigerians. It wasn’t easy in the beginning but when people noticed that I am now fully here, lots of events started coming my way.

“We learn everyday and get better from our mistakes. Studying one’s crowd and knowing what to deliver to them is what makes one a good entertainer. My best moments as a comedian are when I see people smile. As far as I can make people happy, be it a large crowd or my group of friends, I’m okay.

UK Bans Flights From Nigeria Over Omicron Variant

UK Bans Flights From Nigeria Over Omicron Variant


 

The United Kingdom has banned flights from Nigeria over the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus starting Monday, December 6.


In a statement via his verified Twitter handle, the UK Secretary of State for Health, Sajid Javid wrote that only residents and citizens of the UK and Ireland travelling from Nigeria would be allowed entry into the region.


He wrote, “In light of the most recent data we are taking further action to slow the incursion of the Omicron variant.


“From 4 am Monday, only UK/Irish citizens and residents travelling from Nigeria will be allowed entry and must isolate in a managed quarantine facility.”


On Wednesday, Nigeria confirmed its first cases of the Omicron variant, linked to travellers from South Africa.


Since the first three were announced, Nigeria has not reported any new cases of the variant of concern.


Meanwhile, the health secretary stated that travellers from countries on the UK’s Red List would only be required to take a test before they arrive in the country.


“And from 4 am Tuesday, anyone travelling to the UK from countries not on the Red List will be required to take a pre-departure test, regardless of their vaccination status,” Javid added.