had earlier informed that the Federal Government has identified terrorism financiers in the country.
This is even as the federal government has flagged off the release of 4068 prisoners in various correctional centres across the country.
Fagbemi said the government will not go into name and shame because it may geopardise further investigation or apprehension of other people involved.
Earlier in his speech, Fagbemi, while commending the good work GIABA is doing in the effort to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in West Africa, noted that it is incumbent on member states to provide all the support that is necessary for GIABA to conduct its work in a more effective and efficient manner.
“As a capable and technically confident organization, GIABA can and should put before the rest of the global Anti-MoneyLaundering and Terrorism financing (AML/CFT) network, the aspirations and peculiarities of our region.
“I also believe we need to take some time for introspection and an assessment of where we have fallen short. In particular, looking at the effectiveness of our AML/CFT/CPF frameworks, it is clear that across the region there is significant room for improvement.”
He called on all the member states to recommit themselves to becoming champions for truly effective national AML/CFT/CPF systems; “to become leaders who push our national institutions to perform to the highest of their capabilities; to recognize that the FATF Standards are not punitive measures, but tools to help us assure the safety, security and prosperity of our countries, our region, our continent and indeed the global community,” he said.
The Minister of Interior, Mr. Tunji Ojo, who disclosed the release of the inmates in an interview, said the inmates are the non violent offenders and those that are remanded in prison because they are unable to pay some fines.
He said he had earlier promised to raise N585 million through CSR from corporate bodies to help clear the fines. “We have been able to raise the money and we have been able to offset those fines. That is to show you that when we give our word, we want to keep it,” he said.
The minister said that the correctional centre is transformatory. According to him, “It is a place that is meant to ensure that the fundamental rights of the inmates are protected and that they are rehabilitated to be reintegrated into the society. The target of the judicial system is not just to punish people but it is also to remodel and rehabilitate them so as to reintegrate them.”
The Director General of GIABA, Mr Edwin Harris commended the member States for their commitment to the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing in West Africa.
He however said there is need to improve the effectiveness of their strategies. According to him, “The low level of effectiveness is a major challenge in our fight against transnational crimes. This is a call to action by all and the need to defer same could be cataclysmic in implementing sound measures that deter and prevent unlawful activities. “