Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, says the federal government has begun profiling some prominent Nigerians, suspected to be financiers of terrorism, for prosecution.
Recall that about 400 businessmen were arrested for allegedly funding Boko Haram insurgents and bandits.
The businessmen were reportedly arrested in an operation being coordinated by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), and in collaboration with the Department of State Services (DSS), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The operation was said to have been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2020.
While fielding questions from state house correspondents in Abuja on Friday, Malami said the arrest of some of the suspects followed the recent conviction of some Nigerians for financing terrorism in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
According to Malami, the investigation, which he said is ongoing, has uncovered enough evidence to prosecute some high profile Nigerians across the country.
“As you will actually know, some time back, there were certain convictions of Nigerians allegedly involved in terrorism financing in the United Arab Emirates,” Malami said.
“That gave rise to a wider and far-reaching investigation 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 AGF, however, did not state the number of suspects that are being investigated.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
He added that the federal government will invoke the full wrath of the law on anyone found culpable in relation to 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,” Malami said.