The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has said it is facing “illegal” pressure from politicians and senior government officials making dishonest request for information.
The Nigeria’s foremost financial intelligence body said this in a public notice titled, ‘Public Notice and Advisory to Politicians and Senior Government Officials,’ on Wednesday.
“We are forced to react to attempts to introduce politics, illegal pressure on and inordinate requests for information from the NFIU,” the notice signed by the unit’s chief media analyst, Ahmed Dikko, read in part.
The NFIU is “apolitical”, Mr Dikko said, adding that it was established by laws and standards to share information only with law enforcement, regulatory, defence and security, and corresponding agencies in over 170 countries, and not for administrative, civil and business reasons or requests.
“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.
“The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit is also an agency created at the heart of global best practice to support crime analysis and Intelligence building locally and internationally.
“For future and records, our laws and standards permit us to share information 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 FIUs.
“Additionally and categorically we do not release information for administrative, civil and business reasons or requests.
“Equally we will always respond to any attempt or an inkling of it to bring or introduce or incline local and international politics to our operations.
“FIUs are also consistently reviewed mutually.”
Mr Dikko added that the staff members of the unit have been given “repeated warnings” over the matter.
“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 advisory added.
The NFIU is the central national agency responsible for the receipt of disclosures from reporting organisations, the analysis of these disclosures and the production of intelligence for dissemination to competent authorities.
An autonomous unit domiciled within the Central Bank of Nigeria, the unit is also the central coordinating body for the country’s Anti-Money Laundering, Counter-Terrorist Financing and Counter-Proliferation Financing (AML/CFT/CPF) framework.