Nigeria set to rejoin the Egmont Group

Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja

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Nigeria has moved to rejoin the Egmont Group with the approval of the Federal Executive of the Action Plan on Money Laundering and Combating Financial Crimes.

The approval was given at Wednesday’s meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, stated this while briefing State House correspondents after the meeting said the Action Plan showcased Nigeria’s plans to fight financial crimes.

“The Action Plan is intended to showcase the way and manner Nigeria intends to address money laundering and combat financing of terrorism,” he said.

Malami said the Action Plan would also achieve “a consolidated position” of all stakeholders the best ways to tackle financial crimes in Nigeria.

“It is a document that is processed by with all the anti-money laundering agencies, anti-corruption agencies and financing of terrorism agencies, coming together and working together to agree on a road map of action for the purpose of combating money-laundering in Nigeria,” Malami said.

He said the Egmont Group’s plenary is expected in September and that Nigeria was preparing to seek for re-admission.

Malami said his ministry also got approval for a memo relating to the transfer of sentenced persons which was signed between the government of Nigeria and the government of the special administrative region of the Republic of China.

“Nigeria as a nation recognizes the rights of its citizens across the globe and we have a lot of Nigerians serving prison terms internationally. Recognizing its constitutional responsibility and their right to dignity as humans, the federal government of Nigeria has taken a decision to consider the possibility of signing agreement with countries of interest with the purpose of according Nigerians the opportunity of coming back home to serve their prison terms.”

According to Malami this would allow the prisoners to have dignified treatment and allow their relatives when the need arises and for the purpose of rehabilitating them.

Malami said the agreement considered the tripartite consent of the parties, which included the country where Nigerians are serving prison terms, Nigeria as a country, and the interest and consent of the prisoners.

He said the agreement would go through the same process that it went in Nigeria in the Macau Region of the Republic of China.