The Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has denied reports that it is shielding former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar for some reasons.
The NFIU Chief Media Analyst, Ahmed Dikko, who stated this in a release on Wednesday, described the report as fake and malicious publication targeted at its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tukur Modibbo and to tarnish the image of organisation.
Titled: “Again, NFIU reacts to fake, malicious publication, says unit not protecting former VP Atiku Abubakar ,” the agency rejected the report and called for a probable evidence.
The statement reads: “Our attention has again been drawn to another fake and malicious publication by one, Olalekan Adigun in the Quest Times by launching his usual unprovoked attacks on our CEO Mr Modibbo Tukur and the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU). We are hereby responding to his distractions for the last time.
“We had mentioned clearly in our earlier responses on this same subject matter from 2019 to 2021 that no member of the NFIU management staff is personally or officially known to former vice president Atiku Abubakar, we are open to evidence to be contradicted on that.
“His last write up contained total and deliberate misinformation to set up a scenario that NEVER existed. While his earlier attacks were a factory of lies. The latest attacks exhibited both hypocrisy and cowardice.
“He said the NFIU is protecting Atiku and others, Who are the others? Why mention Atiku alone this time? When earlier reports used to mention more than one name; why the fear now? Truth can never change.
It added, “The second challenge is that he lifted his desperate story from a court case about our Staff who committed gross official misconduct according to law and were punished. Why didn’t he mention that the NFIU was sued by these individuals whose lawyers were directly paid by practicing politicians according to our records and the NFIU won the case at the highest appellate level and the case was closed. By not mentioning that portion, Mr Adigun is just trying to escape a post judicial complicity.
“By and large, we wish to state this clearly: Pestering an environment that’s struggling to find its way out of the woods just to serve power personality show cases and jobs is a waste of time. Government has processes guiding its decision making.
“So, though the country is politically heated now, now because of the post election season, we doubt if Nigeria is so confused as to be guided by misplaced political media hatchet job.
“We doubt if there is a Nigerian politician at the highest level who had not been to a prison or subjected to at least a court trial. So how do you protect them?
“We considered the repeated write ups and attacks from a single source only as a distraction to the NFIU whose work is sensitive and often dangerous too but the ignorant writer doesn’t seem to know.
“NFIU Staff are extremely busy working. In the last two months alone, as a selected best practice FIU in the world, the UN sponsored officers on study tour from U.S, UK, South Africa, Kenya, Liberia and Namibia to us, before that and on three separate occasions in our premises, we trained FIU Sierra Leone, FIU Chad and FIU Democratic Republic of Congo and last week we sent our team to Kazakstan to deliver a joint training for the Eastern European FIUs. So anyone can see why these distractions neither add nor reduce to our work.
“What can happen to the Director that has not happened to someone working in the transparency Industry? So the frenzied instigation is strategically misplaced too.
“Locally, it should be noted that with NDLEA (National Drug Law Enforcement Agency) alone, we supported fourteen thousand drug related arrests and cases and at almost equal rate we supported over 35 government agencies to do their daily work. We stand to be contradicted by anyone and we challenge all agencies to parade their best practice models.
“Now for those staff who have misplaced their priorities by making themselves to be moles for politicians, know that the NFIU is housing the data of 170 sovereign countries and the NFIU is autonomous and cannot be used by any politician for personal advantage.
“Merit can never be replaced by wrongful political somersaults. They should imitate their colleagues seconded from the NFIU now working for Interpol in France, Egmont Group in Ottawa, Afripol in Algeria and UN in Abuja among many others.
“Finally our director mentioned repeatedly and wrote to the investigating agencies all that he owns are in his name and can be defended or investigated and any other suspicion should also please be investigated or if in assets let them be published and forfeited or proxies arrested. “