The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) on Wednesday frowned at politicians and public office holders’ inordinate pressures and requests for information on financial crimes capable of compromising its mandate.
NFIU is the autonomous central national intelligence agency mandated to receive and analyze information on financial crimes from reporting organisations, to produce intelligence for distribution to competent authorities.
Of late, the agency, which is domiciled within the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the coordinating body for Nigeria’s anti-money laundering, counter-terrorist financing and counter-proliferation inancing (AML/CFT/CPF) framework, has been complaining about undue pressures exerted on it by politicians and other categories of public officials.
In a statement on Wednesday titled: “Public Notice and Advisory to Politicians and Senior Government Officials”, NFIU said it was compelled to react to concerted attempts to politicise its activities through illegal pressures and inordinate requests for information.
“We had to appropriately enlighten all calibre of officers in this category to know that Intelligence Institutions of government are generally apolitcal, operating within fixed and tailored mandate,” NFIU said.
Beyond this, the agency reminded the public that it was created at the heart of global best practice to support crime analysis and intelligence building locally and internationally on financial crimes.
Consequently, for the future and records, NFIU said the country’s laws and standards of practice permits it to share information on financial crimes with law enforcement, regulatory, defence and security and corresponding agencies in over 170 countries who are also co-owners and co-controllers of Intelligence and compliance processes at all financial intelligence units around the world.
In addition, the NFIU said it is not obliged to release any information for administrative, civil and business reasons or requests by members of the public.
However, it said it would always respond to any attempt, or suggestion to introduce or any inclinarion to local and international politics to its operations.
Considering that FIUs are consistently reviewed mutually among similar agencies, it said even its workers warned repeatedly warned against acts capable of compromising its mandate.
“Influence peddling or mediocrity can substitute professional conduct or personal character. Any Officer, whose conducts do not meet FIU best practices will always be responded to within the law,” the agency said in a statement to the media published on its website.
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