The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has been drawn to a report entitled, “ Exclusive: Nigeria “Completely Shut Down” From Accessing Financial Intelligence from Around the World Due to Sabotage by Magu of EFCC”, published May 7 in an online portal notorious as the propaganda organ for corrupt elite in Nigeria. The article written by an Adenike Lucas, purports that the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU has been shut out of the secure server of the Egmont Group allegedly due to concern by the body over the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu’s misuse of intelligence generated by the NFIU.  It claims that Magu was exposing privileged information to those who should not be allowed access, using intel to blackmail people supposedly opposed to his confirmation and failing to share intelligence with other law enforcement agencies, among others.”

This report should ordinarily be ignored by the Commission because it is patently false and betrays ignorance of the workings of the Egmont Group and the NFIU by the author. However, the Commission is constrained to respond to prevent stakeholders especially members of the Egmont Group who might not be aware of the situation in Nigeria, from being misled.

First it is important to state that Nigeria has not been shut out of the Egmont Group secure server as the NFIU continues to enjoy all the privileges due to it by virtue of its relationship with the body of world financial intelligence Units. This completely negates the claims that Nigeria no longer has access to data that would help in investigating money laundering and financing of terrorism cases. It also rubbishes the phantom allegation that staff are being pressured not to “discuss the fact that Nigeria has been disconnected with anyone.” Nothing was disconnected as the NFIU continues to enjoy seamless operations.

Secondly, the fixation about Magu’s strangulating hold on the NFIU verges on the absurd. Unknown to the purveyors of this false information, the NFIU, though domiciled in the EFCC, is an autonomous body.

The EFCC Chairman does not interfere in matters concerning the dissemination of intelligence which are transmitted to agencies based on need and relevance. It is important to state that the NFIU, in the last one year, has shared intelligence with more law enforcement organizations than any other time in its history.

Moreover, the talk about Magu also wanting to remove the Head of NFIU, Francis Usani and replace him with another officer identified simply as “Mo’, exists only in the imagination of the author and “her” paymasters.

Nigerians and international stakeholders are enjoined to please disregard this publication which is nothing but a ploy to undermine the excellent work that has been done at the NFIU in recent times by forces who are feeling the heat of the war against corruption spearheaded by the EFCC under the leadership of Magu.

Media & Publicity
11 May, 2017