The Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government says it has uncovered 96 financiers of terrorism and banditry across the country, especially those backing Boko Haram and the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP).
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the disclosure during a press conference on the administration’s fight against corruption, in Abuja on Thursday, February 3, 2022.
Also identified are 123 companies and 33 Bureau de change, who have been linked to terrorists, in addition to 26 suspected bandits/kidnappers and seven co-conspirators, Mohammed announced.
According to the minister, “Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), in 2020-2021, revealed 96 financiers of terrorism in Nigeria,” while 424 associates and supporters of the financiers were also uncovered.
“The analysis has resulted in the arrest of 45 suspects who will soon face prosecution and seizure of assets,” he added.
Mohammed also said the NFIU had intelligence exchanges on Boko Haram, ISWAP, banditry, kidnapping, and others with 19 countries.
Between 2020-2021, the NFIU returned fraudulently-obtained funds totaling US$103,722,102.83, 3,000 Pound Sterling; 7,695 Singapore dollar, and 1,091 Euros to 11 countries of victims who came into the country, he said.
Federal forces have been battling Boko Haram terrorism since 2009. The terrorist sect wants a hardline Islamic state carved out of northern Nigeria.
More than 50,000 persons have been killed by Boko Haram in Nigeria in more than a decade, with millions displaced from their homes and thousands abducted, in that span.