Nigerian News

Powerful Nigerians behind kidnapping, illegal mining – FG

The Federal Government has said that powerful Nigerians are sponsoring banditry, kidnappings and illegal mining in the country.

Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake made the disclosure on Tuesday when he appeared before the National Assemble House Committee on Solid Minerals to defend the Ministry’s 2024 budget estimate.

He said the Tinubu-led administration is already identifying those personalities and will take appropriate action against them.

Alake said; “One discovery that we have made is that a lot of these insecurities and banditry associated with this sector are sponsored by illegal miners.

“These are not your artisan miners. They are not the people who pick gold on the ground. These are heavy and powerful individuals in our country. They are Nigerians and not foreigners.”

In another news…

Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, has revealed that the Federal Government has seized over N45 billion illegally looted from the national treasury.

He said, “We now have over 1,500 officers dedicated to investigating and prosecuting money laundering across these three agencies alone. This sustained investment has led to increased numbers of investigations, prosecutions, and convictions consistently since 2021, with 5,118 investigations, 1,509 prosecutions, and almost 500 convictions secured, resulting in over 45 billion naira of illicit proceeds seized.

“We have also made progress in tackling the financing of terrorism and in particular, I am pleased that we have identified and designated a number of individuals and entities linked to terrorist activity and seized funds linked to them.

“The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has become a global model and achieved the outcomes envisaged by the passage of its enabling legislation in 2018, which established it as an independent, autonomous unit.

“The Unit has significantly expanded the scope of financial intelligence it has access to and provides to other competent authorities. The Unit has also put in place a number of innovative technologies, including the Crime Records Information Management System (CRIMS), which has transformed our approach to intelligence sharing.”