The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on Friday said the federal government is profiling for prosecution, well placed Nigerians suspected of being financiers of terrorism in the country.
Malami, who said this while fielding questions from State House reporters at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, disclosed that ongoing investigations have given reasonable grounds to prosecute the high profile Nigerians and institutions across the country.
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The minister said the arrest of the undisclosed number of suspects followed the recent convictions of some Nigerians on terrorism financing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Malami, while reacting to a question on the extent of prosecution of those arrested for funding Boko Haram activities in Nigeria, said: “As you will actually know, sometimes back there were certain convictions of Nigerians allegedly involved in terrorism financing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“That gave rise to a wider and far-reaching investigations in Nigeria and I’m happy to report that arising from the wider coverage investigation that has been conducted in Nigeria, a number of people, both institutional and otherwise, were found to be culpable.
“I mean 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 higher profile individuals and businessmen across the country.
“I’m happy to report that investigation has been ongoing for long and it has reached an advanced stage.
“Arising 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.
“In essence, 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. It is indeed true.”
The minister was, however, averse to giving the number of such suspects currently undergoing profiling.
Malami said: “As to the number, 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 a position to give you the precise number as at now because the profiling and investigation are ongoing.”
Malami warned of the resolve of government to invoke the full wrath of the law on anyone that might be sponsoring terrorism in the country.
“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,” he added.