“NFIU Alleges Lawyers Aid Criminals in Concealing Crime Proceeds”

By Milcah Tanimu

During a sensitization workshop organized by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja, Dr. Emmanuel Shotande, the Chief Operating Officer of the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), made startling allegations against certain lawyers. He claimed that these legal practitioners were complicit in assisting criminal clients to invest and hide their illicit gains. Shotande particularly pointed out how some lawyers facilitate the acquisition of real estate assets as a means of concealing proceeds from criminal activities.

The workshop, themed “Anti-money Laundering Guidelines: A Practical Approach for Legal Profession,” aimed to foster a closer partnership between the NBA and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to combat corruption, terrorism financing, and fraud-related offenses.

Shotande emphasized the need for lawyers to exercise due diligence, especially when dealing with politically exposed individuals. He urged them to report any suspicious transactions to relevant authorities and stressed the importance of collaboration between the NBA, NFIU, and EFCC in combating financial crimes effectively.

NBA President Yakubu Maikyau (SAN) echoed these sentiments, urging lawyers to adhere strictly to the NBA’s anti-money laundering guidelines and rules of professional conduct. He emphasized the critical role of lawyers in proactively combating corruption, given their unique expertise in legal matters.

Representing the EFCC, Director SCUML Daniel Isei reaffirmed the commission’s commitment to collaborating with the legal profession in the fight against fraud and corruption. He underscored the global imperative of such collaborations in addressing money laundering and outlined the EFCC’s efforts to raise awareness about financial crimes among the Nigerian populace.


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