The Special Adviser to the Nigerian President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has said that the government of Muhammadu Buhari is not interested in naming or shaming Boko Haram sponsors and other financiers of terrorism in the country.
The presidential aide said rather, the current regime is interested in bringing the “malefactors” to justice.
He spoke on Monday evening as a guest on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ current affairs programme.
The United Arab Emirates named and prosecuted six Nigerians and 32 others for allegedly financing terrorism.
Adesina’s colleague and presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, had in March 2021 said the Nigerian Government arrested 400 Bureau De Change operators for allegedly funding Boko Haram insurgency in the country. He had said the Nigerians were transferring money to the sect from the United Arab Emirates.
Adesina, who is part of the entourage of the President in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, said, “Naming and shaming would not be the motive, rather bringing malefactors to justice would be it.
“Nigeria is not interested in naming and shaming anybody, rather it wants to bring them to justice.
“The United Arab Emirates has brought some names and the Attorney General of the Federation has responded to that matter, saying that in due course, all these people would have their days in court.
“Rest assured that these people (terror financiers) would be tried before justice and justice would have its way.
The presidential aide also said that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and other related agencies were investigating the allegations against suspected terror funders in the country.
“You don’t take people before the court without investigation. The EFCC chairman spoke about it recently.
“Investigations are going on about it differently, at the level of the EFCC, at the level of the National Intelligence Agency, all security agencies would be working at it so that when those people eventually appeared in court, there would be prima facie case against them,” he noted.
Adesina’s comments came days after EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, said that Nigerians would know the identities of terrorism financiers in the country at the right time.
“Of course, transparency is one of the bedrock(s) of this administration, of course, I am not a spokesman for this administration, but I believe that at the right time Nigerians will get to know those that are financing terrorism in this country and beyond as well,” the EFCC chair had said.
Terrorism financing has become a concerning issue in Nigeria in the last few years as some unnamed politicians have been fingered of complicity with the marauders.
A former Navy Commodore, Kunle Olawunmi, said that Boko Haram terrorists mentioned names of current governors, senators and Aso Rock officials as sponsors during interrogation but the President has demonstrated an unwillingness to go after the high-profile politicians for reasons best known to him.
In September 2021, a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the late Obadiah Mailafia, also claimed that a serving northern governor was a Boko Haram leader and moneybag.
For more than a decade, the Boko Haram terror group had killed thousands of Nigerians in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States. The Nigerian Army and the Presidency had at several times claimed the group had been ‘technically defeated’ and ‘weakened’ but the bloodthirsty terrorist faction continues to strike with daring effrontery and crude savagery.