The newly passed Money laundering and Terrorism Prevention Laws is an advanced weapon that will give Nigeria’s fight against corruption and terrorism a significant boost, the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC) said on Thursday.
The presidential advisory committee against corruption (PACAC) on Thursday said the anti-money laundering law clearly defines money laundering as every type of illegitimate financial transaction not only through the bank, but also through non financial bodies and even individuals.
Chairman of PACAC, Professor Itse Sagay, during a one-day event on Combating Money laundering and terrorism financing held by PACAC in Abuja, explained that “unlike the 2011 Act which has no inclusion of non financial institutions within its operations, the Money Laundering Act 2022 creates a new body within the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission called the special control unit for the effective implementation of money laundering provisions of the Act in relation to the designated non-financial businesses and professions.”
He said the new Law gives Nigeria the power to proclaim a person or an entity as terrorist or Terrorist financier and also give Nigerian Court’s extra/territorial jurisdiction in relation to Terrorism financing.
“It contains provisions for freezing, search and seizure, confiscation and forfeiture of Terrorist property In the Act, “act of Terrorism “ means an act wilfully performed with intention of furthering an ideology, weather political, religious, racial, or ethnic and which may seriously harm or damage a country or an international organization, unduly compels a government or an international organization to perform or abstain from performing any act; seriously intimidate a population; kidnapping of a person, influences a government or an international organization by intimidation or coercion etc.,” he explained.
The chairman also noted that to win the battle against corruption, the corporation of other countries is needed especially in money laundering
“We must tidy up work from our own end in the fight against corruption but one of the challenges in fighting money laundering is that some of these countries are benefiting from those money; the selfishness of these countries make the process difficult.” He explained
Sadiq Radda, executive Secretary, PACAC, speaking, pointed out the need to stiffen the fight against corruption at the state and local level. According to him, “the anti corruption and law enforcement agencies are doing a lot in the federal level however, 48% of allocations goes to the state and local government hence there is need to focus anti corruption activities on those level.”