B’Haram funding: SERAP asks CBN gov to provide information

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, has issued a Freedom of Information request to Mr Godwin Emefiele asking him to “urgently provide information about the persons involved in alleged money laundering through the Central Bank of Nigeria to fund the activities of the Boko Haram, which have contributed to the unlawful killings of innocent Nigerians and destruction of property.”

SERAP also asked Emefiele to provide “within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter, information on the exact nature and duration of any such transactions.”

It threatened to use all appropriate legal actions under the Freedom of Information Act to compel the CBN governor to comply with its request.

In the request dated September 15, 2014, SERAP’s executive director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, said, “Given the involvement of the CBN in this matter and the fact that you are the governor of the bank, we believe that you will be able to use your position and leadership to provide appropriate records and information on what exactly happened.

“SERAP is concerned about the damaging allegation especially given that the CBN as a regulatory body has a responsibility under the UN Convention against Corruption and other national laws to prevent money laundering in banks, and to ensure that its systems are transparent and accountable to the Nigerian people.

“It is necessary to provide clarity as to what exactly happened through the CBN if the bank is to continue to play a leadership role in the fight against corruption and money laundering, and to enjoy the public trust and confidence essential for its effectiveness.

“Providing the information would also help to ensure full accountability for those involved in international crimes, and contribute to the process of providing effective remedies for victims.

It noted that the information being requested does not come within the purview of the types of information exempted from disclosure by the provisions of the FOI Act. The information requested for, apart from not being exempted from disclosure under the FOI Act, bothers on an issue of national interest, public peace and concern, interest of human rights, social justice, good governance, transparency and accountability.”

It would be recalled that a Perth-based international adviser to Nigeria, Dr. Stephen Davis, who for four months was involved in negotiations on behalf of the federal government with commanders of Boko Haram for the release of over 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by the sect last April, has named a former top official of the Central Bank of Nigeria among those that have provided funds and other logistics to Boko Haram to commit crimes under international law.

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