The Center for Financial Surveillance and Illicit Transaction Tracking Group (CSITT) has raised the alarm over the looming consequences of the Department of State Services’ (DSS) attempt to arrest Governor, of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, on trumped up charges of terrorism financing and other crimes.
The group in a statement by its Director, John Dimu said that the Egmont Group, a 164 country membership forum that provides financial units with a platform to securely exchange expertise and financial intelligence to combat money laundering and terrorist financing among others, would have suspended Nigeria if the DSS had succeeded in detaining the CBN Governor over the false allegations.
CSITT said that apart from risking suspension by the Egmont Group, Nigeria risks being blacklisted by global financial bodies over the DSS allegations.
The group noted that suspension of Nigeria from the group, if it happens, will be embarrassing given that the country had been suspended back in 2017 over lack of a legal framework and autonomy.
The statement reads: “We received with disappointment the reports of discovery of a suit secretly filed by the State Security Service wherein it accused Mr. Godwin Emefiele of terrorism financing as well as other crimes it described as economic crimes of national security dimension.
“The allegation that the DSS embarked on this plot to remove the CBN Governor for political and pecuniary reasons, is not only a huge shame but against the ethics of the Egmont group, which Nigeria is a member of.
“Recall that the group had suspended NFIU, an arm of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, after its plenary in Macao, China, on July 2, 2017. The group suspended Nigeria as a result of its lack of a legal framework and autonomy. It’s quite shocking that DSS could be found being part of this illegal move. We advise DSS to focus on its mandate rather than becoming lapdogs for politicians.”