The Federal Government has stated its readiness to prosecute high profile individuals suspected to be major sponsors of terrorism activities in some parts of the country.
Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, who disclosed this to reporters on Friday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said all arrangements had been concluded for the prosecution of some Nigerians, including highly placed individuals, for terrorism financing.
He emphasised the resolve of government to invoke the full wrath of the law on anyone that may be sponsoring terrorism in the country.
He said the message is clear: Nobody is going to be spared,no stone will be left unturned. We shall certainly and aggressively pursue those people that are involved in terrorist financing as far as the Nigerian state is concerned.
According to him, government had carried out extensive investigation on allegations of terrorism financing against certain individuals, adding that substantial grounds had already been established against those accused.
Nigeria, he explained, commenced investigating and processing those suspected to be financiers of terror in the country, after the conviction of some persons in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
According to him, Nigeria had done a more elaborate investigation and had established the connection of many Nigerians to terror financing in the country.
“Sometimes back, there were certain convictions of Nigerians allegedly involved in terrorism financing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This gave rise to a wider and far-reaching investigations in Nigeria and I’m happy to report that arriving from the wider coverage investigation that has been conducted in Nigeria, a number of people, both institutional and otherwise, were found to be culpable”.
He said that reasonable grounds for suspicion of terrorism financing have been established, or perhaps has been proven to be in existence in respect of the transactions of certain high-profile individuals and businessmen across the country.
He continued by stating that he was happy to report that investigation has been ongoing for long and it has reached an advanced stage. “Arriving from the investigation, there exists, certainly, reasonable grounds for suspicion that a lot of Nigerians, high-profile, institutional and otherwise, are involved in terrorism financing and they are being profiled for prosecution”.
“It is indeed true that the government is prosecuting and it’s indeed initiating processes of prosecuting those high-profile individuals that are found to be financing terrorism”.
The Minister of Justice was however did not mention the number of terrorism financing suspects but said the number was on the high side with investigation still ongoing.
He said “investigation is ongoing and it has to be conclusive before one can arrive at a certain number, but one thing I can tell you is it is a large number and they are being profiled for prosecution. It is indeed a large number and I’m not in”