The Central Bank of Nigeria has denied allegations that it was being sued for funding the terrorist group Boko Haram has been denied by the body.
This was disclosed by the CBN in a letter dated October 16, 2014 addressed to the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project
This is following statements made by Australian negotiator, Dr. Stephen Davis, SERAP in September asked the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, to reveal the identities of persons involved in the alleged money laundering through the bank to fund the activities of Boko Haram.
It should be noted that the group followed up with the suit filed in the Federal High Court in Lagos to compel the CBN to respond to its request for about a month.
SERAP Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, said the CBN letter, referenced LSD/ACL/GEN/SRP/02/090, which was signed by O.A. Ogundana on behalf of the Director, Legal Services Department of the bank, stated that the bank had a framework for combating money laundering and financing of terrorism.
According to excerpts from the letter, “We write to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated September 15, 2014 on the subject captioned: request to provide information about alleged money laundering to Boko Haram through the bank.”
“In your letter you had requested from the CBN information about persons or office involved in alleged money laundering activities of the Boko Haram through the CBN; and information on the exact nature and duration of any such transactions.”
“We wish to inform you that after investigating the allegations across various departments at the bank that deal with payments, the bank could not find any information pertaining to persons involved in money laundering through the CBN to fund the activities of Boko Haram.”
However, the CBN added that as the banker to the Federal Government it only maintained accounts for and on behalf of the government, its ministries, departments and agencies; deposit money banks and other financial institutions in Nigeria and can only make payments on their behalf based on authorised mandates.
The bank noted that it did not maintain or operate accounts for individuals, officers or offices within the bank.
In its suit, SERAP, among other things, is seeking the court to determine “Whether by virtue of the provision of section 4(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, the CBN is under an obligation to provide the plaintiff with the information requested for.”