The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has secured the conviction of a Congo-based Nigerian businessman Ani Onyeka who was arrested at the Muritala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos in 2014. Onyeka was arrested for failing to declare $1.9 million in his possession, which he intended delivering outside of banking channels.
What laws were broken ?
This is in violation of Section 12 of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act Cap. F34, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and Section 2(5) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011.
Justice Aikawa ordered the forfeiture of $700,000 which should be credited to the Federal Government’s consolidated account while the balance of the $1, 209,140 should be released to the businessman.
Is government taking a harder view on money laundering ?
The government appears to have taken a tougher view on money laundering, as the laws have barely been applied, despite existing for several years.
Why the government may have taken this stand
The Buhari administration came into power in the midst of a slowing economy which eventually went into recession. The government has had to intensify revenue generation in the midst of falling crude oil prices. The administration also choose dealing with corruption as one of its campaign promises. On assumption of office, the administration launched investigations into funds spent by the National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd). Recipients of some of the funds which were misappropriated, where made to refund them.
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