The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC), Prof Itse Sagay, has said that “technically, giving anyone a gift of money above 5 million, outside the banking system, is an offence.” The Senior Advocate of Nigeria has, therefore, advised the public to exercise restraint while using non-financial institutions as means of transactions, saying the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition Act) is a sweeping piece of legislation.
He spoke, yesterday, in Abuja, at a one-day event on combating money laundering and terrorism financing. In his opening remarks entitled, TheMoneyLaundering Act 2022 and The Terrorism Act 2022: New Advanced Weapons for Tackling two Major National Scourges, the professor of law said: “The scope of this Act exceeds not only what we normally consider as money laundering , also includes institutions and provisions, not contained in the 2011 Act. “For example, it creates a new body within the EFCC called The Special Control Unit for the effective implementation of money laundering provisions of the Act in relation to the designated non-financial businesses and professions.
“This emphasis on the inclusion of non-financial institutions within the operations of the Act is an acknowledgement of the significant financial activities of lawyers, and accountants particularly, who engage in the movement of money on behalf of their clients,” the professor of law said. He explained that the act is a “sweeping piece of legislation, which covers every type of illegitimate financial transaction not only through the banks, but also through non-financial bodies and even between individuals.”
Meanwhile, the new Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act 2022 prescribes a prison term of 25 years, or life imprisonment, for persons convicted of terrorism in the country. “Before a person or group can be declared a terrorist, there must be a recommendation from a specially constituted body called the Sanction Committee. “Punishment for terrorism included freezing and forfeiture of funds, and imprisonment from 25 years to life imprisonment,” Sagay stated
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