|Wikileaks:||View 02ABUJA2875 at Wikileaks.org|
|Tags:||EFIN KCRM PREL PGOV 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.
C O N F I D E N T I A L ABUJA 002875 SIPDIS DEPT FOR INL AND AF . TREASURY FOR OFFICE OF ENFORCEMENT - SHAUN LONERGAN E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/18/2017 TAGS: EFIN, KCRM, PREL, PGOV, NI SUBJECT: NIGERIA: REACTION TO FATF THREAT OF SANCTIONS 1.(C) SUMMARY: Ambassador Jeter called on Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim October 16 to inform him about the gravity of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) decision on counter-measures due to Nigeria's failure to adopt anti-money laundering reforms. The Ambassador told Anyim the FATF decision gave Nigeria a reprieve until December 15, which placed the onus on the National Assembly to enact needed legislation by then. RNLEO accompanied. END SUMMARY. 2.(C) The Ambassador briefed the Senate President on the recent history of FATF reviews of Nigeria's performance in controlling money laundering, emphasizing the lack of communication during the months between the late Attorney General's December 2001 meeting in Rome with the FATF's Africa and Middle East Review Group (AMERG) and August 2002. The FATF has focused on the lack of progress in passing legislative amendments expanding the scope of Nigeria's existing Money Laundering law (which only criminalizes drug money laundering) and tightening controls over financial institutions other than banks (e.g. stock brokerage firms and currency exchange bureaus), Jeter noted. The FATF again reviewed Nigeria's progress during its plenary meeting in Paris October 9-11 and decided Nigeria had not taken the steps recommended over the past two years. The body then agreed to impose counter-measures against Nigeria. Recognizing the good-faith efforts made during the last two months, however, the FATF gave Nigeria an extra 60 days to pass the requisite legislation; barring such progress, the counter-measures would take effect December 15, 2002, the Ambassador emphasized. 3.(C) The Senate President agreed with the Ambassador's assessment that counter-measures would hurt Nigeria and that averting this predicament required non-partisan cooperation. Anyim promised to consult with the relevant Senate Chairmen and lower House leadership to put the legislation on a fast track in the Senate and House. 4.(C) Comment: Anyim said the right things and we hope he means them. However, he is not much of a statesman and sometimes finds it difficult to see beyond his own immediate political interests. However, the case for legislative action is clear-cut and we believe Anyim recognized this. Yet he also is one of the organizers behind the impeachment drive against the President. We Before he moves on the money laundering legislation, he will contemplate how he can use it as leverage against Obasanjo, or prevent the Executive from somehow using it against him. We believe he will act quickly to pass the legislation if the Executive is successful in convincing him that the National Assembly will be stuck with the blame for FATF sanctions and, conversely, that Anyim will receive credit for the legislation's passage. 5.(C) The Principal Secretary to the President and the Attorney General are launching a full court press to this goal. Press coverage of the FATF decision to date has been minimal, due to the International Court of Justice's October 10 decision on the Bakassi Peninsula and the ongoing political struggle between the executive and legislature. JETER
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