The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has stated that it did not write to banks demanding the bank accounts of leaders of the National Assembly and the Judiciary.
A document, said to be from the NFIU, was circulated on Friday showing a request to banks for the information on the accounts belonging to Senate President Ahmed Lawan, Speaker of the House of Reps Femi Gbajabiamila and other principal officers of the National Assembly.
It also included accounts owned by judges including the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad.
The letter with reference: NFIU/ACCFT/ACCOBANKS/VOL.I/877/PO5IA29 reads: “Request for information on: All accounts of: the National Assembly, National Judicial Council (NJC), all the members of the National Assembly, principal officers (management) of the National Assembly Service Commission, (and) of principal officers of the judiciary.
“Kindly provide the NFIU with a schedule (account names and account numbers) of the National Assembly, members of National Assembly and principal officers of National Assembly Service Commission, as well as all accounts of National Judicial Service Commission and their principal officers, including judges and other relevant politically exposed persons.
“Kindly note that your response is expected on or before September 13, 2019,” the letter reads.
The NFIU, however, said it did not make such request from the banks but did not, however, declare the document as fake.
The agency’s Chief Media Analysts, Ahmed Dikko, in a statement said the NFIU does not need to write banks to get details of accounts because it already has access to the account details of all the principal officers of the National Assembly and the Judiciary.
“The attention of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), has been drawn to media reports stating that the unit has requested banks to furnish it with the account details of principal officers of the National Assembly and the Judiciary. Such reports are not true.
“In line with its powers as provided in the NFIU Act 2018, the Unit already has access to details of all bank accounts in the country and does not therefore, need to write to commercial banks asking for the same information.
“As a matter of fact, relevant reporting entities such as investigative and other Law Enforcement Agencies always rely on the NFIU for information on bank details of individuals and body corporate under investigation as they go about carrying out their functions. Such is a mandatory reporting process,” the statement read.