Following the recent proscription of the violent Islamic sects, Boko Haram and Ansaru, by the Federal Government, the Central Bank of Nigeria has ordered banks to check the activities of the terrorist groups.
The central bank in a letter to all banks on Wednesday, directed them to check their database and report activities of the two sects to the regulator.
The letter read, “The Federal Government of Nigeria, in its effort to stem terrorism in the country, has proscribed the activities of Jamaatu Ahlis-Sunna Liddaawati Wal Jihad, otherwise known as Boko Haram, and Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan in any part of the country. Their activities are consequently declared as terrorist and illegal.
“All banks and other financial institutions are, by this letter, required to check their database for the names: Jamaatu Ahlis-Sunna Liddaawati Wal Jihad, otherwise known as Boko Haram, and Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan, as well as their associates, and to report same to the CBN.”
President Goodluck Jonathan had last week approved the proscription of the Islamic terrorist groups and authorised the gazetting of an order declaring the groups’ activities illegal and acts of terrorism.
The proscriptive order coincided with a statement by the United States government that Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, could be tried in the US, when arrested.
The order, which has been gazetted as the Terrorism (Prevention) (Proscription Order) Notice 2013, affects both Boko Haram and Ansaru, and was approved by Jonathan pursuant to Section 2 of the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011 (as amended).
A statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, explained that the Act “officially brings the activities of both groups within the purview of the Terrorism Prevention Act and any persons associated with the two groups can now be legally prosecuted and sentenced to penalties specified in the Act.”
The proscription order warned the general public that any person “participating in any form of activities involving or concerning the collective intentions of the said groups will be violating the provisions of the Terrorism Prevention Act.”
Accordingly, Section 5 (1) of the Act prescribes a term of imprisonment of not less than 20 years for any person who knowingly or indirectly solicits or renders support for the commission of an act of terrorism or to a terrorist group.
Source: The Punch