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Thursday, June 13, 2013
Banks mandated to report business dealings with Boko Haram
THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed banks and other financial institutions that have business relationship with the outlawed Islamic sect, Boko Haram, to report to it.
According to the letter entitled: “Terrorism prevention, proscription order notice 2013, signed by the Acting Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department (CBN), Mr I. T Nwaohe and addressed to all banks and financial institutions operating in the country, the apex bank said the directive was in line with the recent Federal Government’s official declaration of both Jamaatu Ahlis-Sunna Liddaawati Wal Jihad (Boko Haram) and a similar group, the Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan, as terrorist organisations.
The banking watchdog directed banks and other financial institutions to check their data base for the two terrorist organisations and that of their associates and report to it, adding that “where no account or business relationship are maintained for any of the proscribed names or their associates, a nil return should be rendered.”
It will be recalled President Goodluck Jonathan recently approved the proscription of Boko Haram and authorised the gazetting of an order declaring its activities as illegal and as acts of terrorism.
Approved by President Jonathan, pursuant to Section 2 of the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011 (as amended), it officially brings the activities of both groups within the purview of the Terrorism Prevention Act and any person associated with the two groups can now be legally prosecuted and sentenced to penalties specified in the act.
“The proscription order warns the general public that any person participating in any form of activities involving or concerning the collective intentions of the said groups will be violating the provisions of the Terrorism Prevention Act,” Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicty, Dr Reuben Abati, announced in a statement.
Section 5 (1) of the act prescribes a term of imprisonment of not less than 20 years for any person who knowingly, in any manner, directly or indirectly, solicits or renders support to the commission of an act of terrorism or to a terrorist group.
“Support in Subsection (1) of the section is defined as “incitement to commit a terrorist act through the internet or any electronic means or through the use of printed materials or through the dissemination of terrorist information,” “receipt or provision of material assistance, weapons including biological, chemical or nuclear weapons, explosives, training, transportation, false documentation or identification to terrorists or terrorist groups,” “receipt or provision of information or moral assistance, including invitation to adhere to a terrorist or terrorist group,” “entering or remaining in a country for the benefit of, or at the direction of or in association with a terrorist group,” or “providing or making available, such financial or other related services prohibited under this Act or as may be prescribed by regulations made pursuant to this act.”