The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has said that close to the 2019 general election, the agency was able to track official transactions to the tune of N200 billion.
The Director and Chief Executive Officer of NFIU, Modibbo Tukur, disclosed this Thursday in Abuja at the Anti-Corruption Situation Room (ACSR) Program organised by HEDA Resource Centre.
Tukur, who was represented by Mr. Badaru Abubakar, said it showed clearly that there was a correlation between cash and election rigging in Nigeria.
He noted that the agency had already suggested to the government how to curb those leaks.
Tukur said: “At NFIU, our role is to advise other relevant agencies, we analyse all the transactions will get, we send those reports to relevant security agencies.
“We at NFIU, we are not supposed to be seen, we are only supposed to be felt. On our own part, we are doing our best.
“Before 2019, every year we used to have reports of about N100 billion official transactions. But in 2019, to show you the correlation between cash and election rigging in Nigeria, in 2019 alone, we had over N200 billion official transactions from government accounts. So, you can now see the link between election crime and cash.”
Tukur explained that one of the ways to plug the loopholes is by enforcing the Terrorism and Financing Act.
He added: “One of them is the Terrorism and Financing Act – no individual can do a transaction of above N5 million in cash. Also, no corporate organisation can do a transaction beyond N10 million in cash.
“Although we have loopholes in the suggestions we made to the government, but we stand our ground. All these things are done to curb all other crimes.”
Speaking, the Chairman of HEDA, Mr. Olarenwaju Suraju, said they don’t have to wait till the day of the election before they start making some of the necessary public statements.
According to him, “The takeaway from here is that the election is not rigged only on election days, It happens before and we need to start identifying those stakeholders that are responsible for some of these atrocities or activities.”