US embassy cable - 02ABUJA2875

NIGERIA: REACTION TO FATF THREAT OF SANCTIONS

Identifier: 02ABUJA2875
Wikileaks: View 02ABUJA2875 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2002-10-18 16:58:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
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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