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Sunday, 15 September 2019

NFIU denies asking banks for account of NASS principal, judiciary officers

NFIU denies asking banks for account of NASS principal, judiciary officers

Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit.

The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has distanced itself from reports that it has written to banks asking them to make available the “account details of principal officers of the National Assembly and the Judiciary.”

The unit had allegedly written a letter dated September 10, 2019, to all banks in the country to send it the account details of the affected persons.

The letter was said to have been signed by the NFIU’s Associate Director, Analysis and Compliance, Fehintola Salisu, giving the banks up till September 13 (Friday) to comply with the directive.

The letter addressed to all Chief Compliance Officers of the banks was tagged “Request for information on all accounts of: 1. the National Assembly. 2. All accounts of all the members of the National Judicial Council. 3. All accounts of all the members of the National Assembly. 4. Accounts of principal officers (Management) of National Assembly Service Commission. 5. All accounts of principal officers of the judiciary.”

The letter futher

read: “Kindly provide the NFIU with a schedule (account names and account numbers) of the National Assembly, members of National Assembly and principal officers of National Assembly Service Commission, as well as all accounts of National Judicial Service Commission and their principal officers, including judges and other relevant politically- exposed persons.

“Kindly note that your response is expected on or before September 13, 2019.”

But according to a statement on Friday by its Chief Media Analysts, Ahmed Dikko, the unit said: “Such reports are not true.”

He explained that the organisation had already been statutorily empowered to access all bank accounts, adding that, “relevant reporting entities such as investigative and other law-enforcement agencies always rely on the NFIU for information on bank details of individuals and body corporate.”

The NFIU statement also read: “The attention of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), has been drawn to media reports stating that the unit had requested banks to furnish it with the account details of principal officers of the National Assembly and the Judiciary. Such reports are not true,

“In line with its powers as provided in the NFIU Act 2018, the unit already has access to details of all bank accounts in the country and does not therefore, need to write to commercial banks asking for the same information.

“As a matter of fact, relevant reporting entities such as investigative and other law enforcement agencies always rely on the NFIU for information on bank details of individuals and body corporate under investigation as they go about carrying out their functions. Such is a mandatory reporting process.

“The unit does not also make blanket requests to all banks as is being speculated in the reports

“The media and indeed the public are therefore, requested to disregard such reports.”

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