US embassy cable - 01ABUJA3223

WAR ON TERRORISM: NIGERIA'S EFFORTS TO UPGRADE LAWS

Identifier: 01ABUJA3223
Wikileaks: View 01ABUJA3223 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2001-12-14 18:12:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: PTER KCRM KTIA PREL NI
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 003223 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
 
FOR DS/ATA, S/CT, L/LEI AND INL 
 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PTER, KCRM, KTIA, PREL, NI 
SUBJECT: WAR ON TERRORISM: NIGERIA'S EFFORTS TO UPGRADE LAWS 
 
 
REF: A. A) STATE 210627 B) ABUJA 2793 C) ABUJA 2606 
     B. D) ABUJA 2542 
 
 
Sensitive But Unclassified -- Protect Accordingly. 
 
 
1.(SBU) The Government of Nigeria had begun upgrading its 
money laundering and financial crimes legislation that 
existed prior to September 11.  Currently, Nigerian law 
criminalizes only drug money laundering and proscribes select 
forms of financial crimes in a piece-meal fashion.  The 
Nigerian Penal Code criminalizes acts of violence, including 
terrorism. 
 
 
2.(SBU) President Obasanjo recognizes the serious 
deficiencies of Nigerian law in both addressing general money 
laundering and, more specifically, the use of funds for 
terrorism.  Reflecting the heightened concerns post-September 
11, the President reportedly directed his staff in late 
October to modify the draft Financial Crimes Commission (FCC) 
Act to include terrorism and terrorism financing.  In 
meetings with Ambassador Jeter, he has also made explicit 
requests for technical assistance in upgrading Nigeria,s 
anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering laws as well as 
improving law enforcement efforts against these crimes. 
 
 
3.(SBU) Since Post reported on the FCC Act revisions that 
included terrorism (Ref B) ) done on the eve of President 
Obasanjo,s November 2 visit to Washington ) the GON has 
further refined the draft legislation to focus more on 
terrorism financing.  The draft law now contains a definition 
of terrorism: 
QUOTE: (a) any act which is a violation of the Criminal Code 
or the Penal Code and which may endanger the life, physical 
integrity of freedom of, or cause serious injury or death to, 
any person, any number or group of persons or causes or may 
cause damage to public or private property, natural 
resources, environmental or cultural heritage and is 
calculated or intended to ) 
 
 
(i)intimidate, put in fear, force, coerce or induce any 
government, body, institution, the general public or any 
segment thereof, to do or abstain from doing any act or to 
adopt or abandon a particular standpoint, or to act according 
to certain principles, or 
(ii)  disrupt any public service, the delivery of any 
essential service to the public or to create a public 
emergency; or 
(iii) create general insurrection in a State; 
 
 
(b) any promotion, sponsorship of, contribution to, command, 
aid, incitement, encouragement, attempt, threat, conspiracy, 
organization or procurement of any person, with the intent to 
commit any act referred to in paragraph (a) (i), (ii) and 
(iii). 
END QUOTE 
 
 
4.(SBU) In a December 12 meeting with Ebenezer Obeya, Legal 
Assistant to the National Security Advisor, RNLEO obtained a 
copy of the newly revised draft law, entitled the 
"Anti-Terrorism, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission 
Act."  Obeya disclosed that the Attorney General,s office 
and the Presidency have been holding consultations with key 
members and committees of the National Assembly to build 
support for the new law. 
 
 
5.(SBU) In a December 13 conversation with RNLEO, Attorney 
General Bola Ige claimed that this new legislation would 
supersede the existing 1995 Money Laundering Act and would be 
passed by the National Assembly in the first quarter of 2002. 
 Ige had just returned from a trip to Rome where he attended 
a meeting of the Financial Action Task Force,s (FATF) Africa 
and Middle East Review Group.  The Attorney General and a 
team of working level experts presented to the AMERG the 
GON,s new efforts to improve Nigeria,s record on money 
laundering in the wake of the FATF,s June declaration of 
Nigeria as a "non-cooperative country or territory" on money 
laundering controls.  Stating that the meeting went extremely 
well, Ige confirmed that the new FCC bill was the centerpiece 
of the GON,s presentation and he claimed that this drew a 
good reaction from AMERG members. 
 
 
6.(SBU) The Attorney General made a point of expressing his 
pleasure to discover, upon arrival at the Rome FATF meeting 
that "the U.S. Government keeps its pledges" ) referring to 
the presence and support at the meeting of a USG money 
laundering expert who had participated in discussions of the 
November 9 Bilateral Law Enforcement Committee meeting in 
Washington.  During those discussions, the USG expert (INL or 
Treasury) pledged USG support within the FATF for the steps 
the GON was taking to improve its money laundering controls. 
 
 
JETER 
Jeter 

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