As efforts to strengthen Nigeria’s legal framework against corruption gathers momentum, civil society organisations in Nigeria have thrown their weight behind the Proceeds of Crime (POCA) , Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) and Nigeria Financial Intelligence Centre (NFIC) Bills being considered by the present National Assembly.
In a 14-page Communique, issued after a Civil Society Roundtable organised by the Media Initiative Against Injustice, Violence and Corruption (MIIVOC), in Abuja, the activists expressed confidence that the POCA and MLA bills are necessary legislations that would enhance the country’s anti-graft war.
The communique, signed by the chairman, Okechukwu Nwanguma, of Network on Police Reforms (NOPRIN) and Secretary, Debo Adeniran, of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) reviewed the recently passed Nigeria Financial Intelligence Centre (NFIC) Bill and described it as a step in the right direction.
The activists reiterated their preference for a truly independent Nigeria Financial Intelligence Centre (NFIC) for Nigeria and warned that it would resist any attempt to hijack the NFIC about being created.
They commended the National Assembly for passing the NFIC Bill and urged it to make haste to pass the Proceeds of Crime and Mutual Legal Assistance Bills making steady progress at the National Assembly.
They also commended the President Jonathan-led government for his commitment to the passage of the Bills and urged the President to make haste to sign the NFIC Bill into law in the interest of the country’s anti-graft, anti-money laundering and counter terrorism war.
“Civil society stakeholders from all parts of Nigeria assembled at the country’s capital, Abuja, to review the state of anti-corruption campaign in Nigeria.
“Stakeholders commended the present National Assembly for the passage of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Centre (NFIC) Bill and urged the lawmakers to hasten to pass other related and complimentary anti-corruption bills- the Proceeds of Crime (POCA) and Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) Bills. Stakeholders however urged the President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, to give speedy assent to the NFIC Bill, in order allow the Centre take off immediately.
“Stakeholders critically reviewed the recently-passed NFIC bill and reiterated that the bill is a step in the right direction in the anti-money laundering, anti-corruption and anti-terrorism campaign in Nigeria.
“Stakeholders reiterated confidence in the administrative type-FIU, which Nigeria opted for and threw their weight behind its being domiciled at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as passed by the National Assembly.”