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FG go after B’Haram, Ansarul, IPOB financiers, assets

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The Federal Government has commenced moves to confiscate the assets of identified terrorism financiers and their associates in line with international counter-terrorism recommendations.

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Sunday PUNCH reliably gathered that security and intelligence agencies were scouting for the physical assets, including companies and bank accounts of individuals and groups indicted for terrorism in the country.

Already, 18 persons, entities and companies have been added to the Nigeria Sanctions List under the supervision of the Nigeria Sanctions Committee, a multi-agency panel created by the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022.

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The groups include the Indigenous People of Biafra, Boko Haram, Islamic State West Africa Province, Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan, the Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda terrorist groups and 13 persons convicted for financing Boko Haram.

IPOB’s major source of funding has been attributed to contributions from Diaspora members and sympathisers through dedicated online platforms and overseas-based bank accounts, while the other entities are believed to fund their activities through ransoms from kidnappings, cattle rustling, robberies and illegal tax on communities under their control.

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The 16-member sanctions committee is chaired by the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN.

Other members include the ministers of finance, foreign affairs and interior, as well as the National Security Adviser; the Director-General, Department of State Services; Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria; Inspector-General of Police; and the Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

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Also on the committee are the Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission; Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency; Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service; Director-General, National Intelligence Agency; representative of the Chief of Defence Staff; Director-General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and other Related Offences; the Director of the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit as secretary; and any other relevant person or institution that the President may incorporate into it.

Among others, the committee has powers to formulate and provide general policy guidelines on designations made under sections 49, 53 and 54 of the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022 and advise on the effective implementation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions related to terrorism financing and proliferation financing, and allied instruments of the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States.

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It can also recommend to the AGF appropriate sanctions including travel ban, freezing of funds, assets seizure, and other economic interests of persons and entities designated under the United Nations Consolidated List or under the Nigeria List.

Our correspondent had reported that the regime of the President Muhammadu Buhari, had earlier been indicted by the ECOWAS financial intelligence agency, the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, for not going after the assets of convicted terrorists.

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In response to the development, the government, it was learnt, had identified 96 financiers of terrorism, including 424 associates/supporters of the financiers, whose assets would be confiscated after due legal process had been concluded.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed in February that the intelligence agencies had unmasked 123 companies and 33 Bureaux De Change linked with terrorism.

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Sunday PUNCH gathered that a massive search and freeze campaign for all the assets of terrorists and terrorism sponsors was ongoing.

Giving an update on the initiative on Thursday, a senior Justice ministry official stated, “At the last sitting of the Sanctions Committee last week, we identified several assets belonging to the terrorists and their sponsors, but we have not started seizing the assets; we are working on that. We will get court orders to freeze and forfeit the assets.

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“We are still looking at companies that have terrorism financing elements; once we have identified that and of course investigations will have to identify those that have assets. We will then file ex parte motions, but we have not got there yet.

“However, we have identified the assets of six groups/entities and we are tracing other properties and companies owned by these people. In fact, the bulk of them were tried and convicted. All their accounts have been frozen, but we have not traced their physical assets. Those are the details we are working on; our investigators are tracing their physical assets.”

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The director disclosed that 13 convicted sponsors of Boko Haram had been added to the Nigeria Sanctions List, a master list of all persons and institutions blacklisted for terrorism.

Those newly added to the sanctions list are Abdurrahaman Ado, Bashir Yusuf, Ibrahim Alhassan, Muhammad Isah, Salihu Adamu, Surajo Mohammad, Fannami Bukar, Muhammed Musa, Sahabi Ismail, Mohammed Buba, Alin Yar Yaya General Enterprises, K. Are Nigeria Limited and Suhailah Bashir General Enterprises.

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The first six alleged sponsors of Boko Haram and the three enterprises were tried and convicted in 2020 by the Abu Dhabi Federal Court of Appeal for transferring $782,000 from the United Arab Emirates to the insurgents.

A joint terrorism financing investigation between 2019 and 2021 established a link between one of the convicted terrorist financiers and the insurgents. The convict, who dealt in gold from artisanal mining in the North-West and North-Central, was said to have moved N560m.

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Alin Yar Yaya General Enterprises was linked with Yusuf, who is serving a 10-year jail term in Abu Dhabi.

The company, whose address was given as No. 2 Danladi Auyo House, Wapa, Fagge Local Government Area, Kano, was registered on April 15, 2016.

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Are Nigeria Limited, registered on September 19, 2019, was promoted by Surajo Muhammad, who is serving a life imprisonment in Abdu Dhabi for financing Boko Haram from Dubai.

Suhailah Bashir General Enterprises, registered on November 28, 2016, was linked to Yusuf, who is serving 10 years in UAE for collaborating with Boko Haram.

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Both Yaya and Bashir Enterprises were added to the sanctions list on November 8, 2022.

On July 5, 2022, the sanctions committee added six other entities namely Jamaátu Ahlis Sunna Liddaáwati Wal-Jihad (Boko Haram), Islamic State West Africa Province, Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan, the Indigenous People of Biafra, Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda terrorist groups.

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Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda are bandit organisations declared terrorist groups on November 25, 2021, by the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The groups’ activities started several years ago in Zamfara, Katsina, Kebbi, Kaduna and Sokoto states and they were said to have partnered with the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, Boko Haram, Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in carrying out major attacks aimed at raising terrorist financing within the bandits’ areas of influence.

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In 2021, a total of 2,883 attacks were carried out by the groups, of which 51 were attacks on troops, while others were carried out on communities and commuters.

The sanctions committee in a notice to the Security and Exchange Commission dated November 10, 2022, said all capital market operators were required to immediately identify and freeze, without prior notice, all funds, assets and any other economic resources belonging to the designated persons and entities in their possession and report same to the secretariat of the Nigeria Sanctions Committee.

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The operators were also directed to report to the secretariat any assets frozen or actions taken in compliance with the designation, including attempted transactions, pursuant to the provisions of Section 54 of the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022.

The capital market operators were also expected to immediately file a suspicious transactions report to the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit for further analysis on the financial activities of such an individual or entity; and equally make a suspicious transactions report to the NFIU, all cases of name-matching in financial transactions prior to or after receipt of the sanctions list.

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The market operators were subsequently prohibited from dealings with the designated persons and entities and to continue to check for transactions relating to the designated person or entity and the actions to be taken if funds or other assets or suspect transactions were discovered.

“Note that this freezing obligation extends to all funds or other assets that are owned or controlled by the designated person or entity, and not just those that can be tied to a particular act, plot, or threat of terrorism or terrorism financing; those funds or other assets that are wholly or jointly owned or controlled directly or indirectly by designated persons or entities,” the notice read.

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The search and freeze campaign involved all national enforcement agencies and the regulated private sector entities with specific mandate to immediately track, discover and freeze all funds, physical and financial assets, businesses, organisations and all other related entities to the terrorism sponsors. (PUNCH)

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Photos/Video: LASU class of 2004, Anthony Campus re-union anniversary

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The class of 2004, Public Administration of the Lagos State University (LASU) Anthony Campus re-union second anniversary get together on Saturday.

Old classmates had a lot share and had time to dance and celebrate old times.

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See/watch video below:


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Finally, after terrorists attack, NRC to resume Abuja-Kaduna rail operations on Monday

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Finally, the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) will resume the Abuja-Kaduna passenger train service on Monday, with only two return services after the terrorists attack.

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Naijablitznews.com reports this was contained in a statement issued and signed by the Managing Director of the NRC, Fidet Okhiria.

The statement shows the first train will depart Rigasa train station in Kaduna state to Abuja by 8:00 in the morning while from Abuja, the first train will depart Idu train station to Kaduna state by 9:45 in the morning.

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The NRC management also revealed that as part of the new security measures, it is now mandatory for passengers to present their National Identity Number and valid Boarding Ticket before they will be allowed to board.

It also says the purchase of tickets by proxy is only limited to minors and a specified number of adult passengers.

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Online and mobile app ticketing will be available from 8:00 in the morning on Sunday, December the 4th, 2022 while the ticket offices at the train stations will open from 6:30 in the morning on Monday, December the 5th.

Recall that the NRC suspended train service along the route after Boko Haram terrorists attacked a moving passenger train in Kaduna on March 28, 2022.

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The insurgents had blown up the rail track and bombed the moving train, killing some and abducting more than 60 passengers. The unprecedented attack attracted international and national outrage.

The terrorists, who attacked the Kaduna-bound train released hostages in tranches with the last release coming on October 5, 2022.

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Before the hostages were completely released, distraught family members had protested several times to demand the release of their loved ones.

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Peter Obi Attends Gospel Musical Concert ‘The Experience’ In Lagos+Photo

Peter Obi
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The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, on Friday, attended the annual gospel musical concert organised by House On The Rock church in Lagos.

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Upon his introduction, Obi was welcomed with cheers from the crowd.

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