Senate Amends Terrorism Act, in Bid to Stave Off Sanctions

Written by on April 28, 2022

As part of efforts to avert the imminent placement of Nigeria in the International Cooperation and Review Group Process of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and its looming sanctions on the economy, the Senate yesterday passed a bill seeking to amend the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2013, as well as prohibit payment of ransom to kidnappers in the country.

That was as former military governor of Kaduna State, Col. Abubakar Umar (rtd), appealed to the federal government to do more to secure the release of passengers abducted by terrorists during the Kaduna train attack.

The passage of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2013 Amendment Bill, 2022, followed the consideration of a report by the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.

He stated that the National Task Force on improving Nigeria’s Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime in Nigeria had proposed improvement on the Act in order to address the deficiencies noted in its provisions and align it with the required standard obtainable in other jurisdictions.

Two months ago, the federal government disclosed that it had uncovered 123 companies and 96 other entities linked to terrorism financing. Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the companies included 33 Bureaux De Change (BDC). Mohammed also stated that the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit uncovered the suspected companies and individuals.

The companies, which were alleged to be conduit for movement of money by terrorists, are yet to be tried by the federal government.

In the past few days, there have been increasing attacks by different terrorist groups across the country, with several lives lost, scores injured, and many kidnapped or missing and unaccounted for.

The senator noted that the repeal was aimed at providing adequate framework for improved international collaboration, inter-agency cooperation, and freezing of terrorist funds/assets.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks after the passage of the bill, said it would complement the federal government’s efforts in the fight against insecurity, when signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The upper chamber passed the bill after it scaled Third Reading on the floor.

Meanwhile, the Senate, thereafter, adjourned plenary till May 10, for the Sallah break.

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