The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday declared that movement of funds by Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating in the North-east must be approved by it.
The commission also sought the collaboration of the Nigerian Army to end terrorism in the North-east by halting terror-financing and money laundering in the North-east.
Some NGOs in the region have been suspected of involvement in terror-financing.
Some were said to have paid for a 10-year hotel accommodation making it difficult for travellers to find accommodation in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
Former Acting Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, had raised the alarm that some NGOs had 50 bank accounts and sought the cooperation of banks to arrest the situation by providing the necessary information.
A statement by the commission said the Maiduguri Zonal Head of the commission, Mr. Onwukwe Obiora, said movement of cash by NGOs in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states must be approved by the commission.
He spoke during a courtesy call on Theatre Command of Operation Hadi ka in Maiduguri.
“We want to equally inform you that in carrying out our mandate the commission ensures that movement of cash by Non-Governmental Organisations across the local governments in Borno, Yobe and some part of Adamawa State must be approved by the zonal office”.
He further stated that if sponsors of insurgency and kidnapping were cut off, the fight against insurgency would be won by the theatre command.
Obiora appealed to the command to report suspected illicit funds linked to NGOs or individuals to the commission.
He harped on the need for the Nigerian Army and the commission to collaborate in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing in the North-east.
According to him, ‘’the theatre command is a very critical stakeholder in the fight against corruption and the role it plays is enormous. Therefore, it is necessary and important for the Nigerian Army to join hands with us to end insurgency in Nigeria by identifying and cutting off the source of financing for the insurgents.
In his response, the Theatre Commander, Maj. Gen. Farouk Yahaya, pledged the command’s support for the EFCC.
He said the Army would assist the commission in identifying and reporting the bad eggs amongst NGOs, Bureau de Change operators and other local contractors with the aim of stopping money laundering and terrorists financing in the North-east.
In a related development, the Army has pledged to improve the existing relationship between it and the EFCC.
The Commander, 3 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Kano, Brigadier General S. Nicodemus, made the pledge yesterday when he visited the Kano Zonal Office of the EFCC.
The commander, who assumed command of the brigade on April 23, 2021 said the visit was to cement the existing relationship between the army and the agency.
He disclosed that he was briefed by his predecessor of the cordial relationship that existed between the Brigade and the EFCC and urged the zonal head to uphold the relationship.
The Kano Zonal Head, Mualledi Farouq Dogondaji, in his response, assured the commander of enhanced relationship and support.
Dogondaji further stated that the doors of the commission were open to the Nigerian Army.