The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has denied reports that it is planning to probe principal officers of the National Assembly and members of the National Judicial Council (NJC).
Naija News reports that news had emerged of plans by the NFIU to commence an investigation into bank accounts belonging to Senate President Ahmed Lawan, Speaker of the House of Reps Femi Gbajabiamila and other principal officers of the National Assembly.
It was gathered that the Financial Intelligence agency is also investigating accounts owned by Nigeria judges, including the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad.
In a letter dated September 10, 2019, and signed by NFIU Associate Director, Analysis and Compliance, Fehintola Salisu, the Chief Compliance Officers of banks were directed to release the account details of all legislators and judiciary officials in the country.
NFIU asked the banks to provide account names, numbers and transaction details of the top civil servants.
Although it listed judges and national assembly members as well, there was no mention of any member of the executive arm of government.
Reacting in a statement on Monday by its Chief Media Analyst, Ahmed Dikko, the agency expressed dismay that some people were seeking political advantage from its leaked confidential letter to banks requesting the bank account details of principal government officials.
The statement read, “It will be recalled that a new government was inaugurated in May, 2019. The officer who initiated the unauthorized letter was also taking the initiative to update the PEPs list.
“This list includes politicians and political appointees in all organs of government. The update exercise which is a regular practice in order to protect public funds and other assets is also in accordance with global best practice.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Chief Justice of the Federation as well as senators, members of the House of Representatives, justices and other members of the judiciary are not under investigation by the NFIU.
“Having been aware that the leaked letter was not subjected to the appropriate level of authorization before transmission, the NFIU has commenced an investigation to unravel the persons and the factors that led to the inadvertent circumvention of our internal process in this isolated case with a view to applying appropriate sanctions as deterrence.”