US embassy cable - 02ABUJA3185

NIGERIA: FATF UPDATE

Identifier: 02ABUJA3185
Wikileaks: View 02ABUJA3185 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2002-11-25 16:56:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: KCRM EFIN SNAR 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 ABUJA 003185 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
 
FOR INL AND AF 
. 
TREASURY FOR DO -- SHAUN LONERGAN 
 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KCRM, EFIN, SNAR, NI 
SUBJECT: NIGERIA:  FATF UPDATE 
 
 
1.(SBU) With the threat of FATF-directed "counter-measures" 
looming three weeks away, Nigeria's House of Representatives 
on November 21 passed all three pending pieces of money 
laundering legislation. These are amendments to the 1995 
Money Laundering Act and 1991 Banking and Other Financial 
Institutions Act and the Financial Crimes Commission Act. 
The Senate has yet to vote on any of the legislation, though 
there are indications a vote could come within the next few 
days. 
 
 
2.(SBU)  RNLEO, accompanied by LEGATT, Assisant USSS Attache 
and Assistant DEA Attache, November 25 called on Alhaji 
Abudllahi Abubakar, Chairman of the Senate Committee on 
Narcotics and Financial Crimes -- one of three Senate 
Committees reviewing the money laundering legislation. 
 
 
3.(SBU) Abubakar expressed appreciation for the seriousness 
of the impending sanctions, while complaining that the 
Presidency had only proposed the two Amendments in late 
September and was now pushing the National Assembly to act 
quickly or face the blame for international condemnation on 
money laundering.   Noting that the House had passed all 
three bills without revisions, Abubakar stated that he and 
other other Chairmen in the Senate had first wanted to merge 
all three pieces of legislation into one bill since they all 
cover the same topic.  In the interest of time, however, the 
Senators agreed to vote on all three separately.  Abubakar 
revealed that the Senate has made two changes to the Banking 
and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Amendment.  The draft 
BOFI amendment presented by the Presidency allows the CBN to 
refuse a bank or financial institution a license without 
stating a reason.  The Senate feels this is not reasonable 
and has changed the bill's language to require an explicit 
reason.  Also, the President's BOFI amendment allows the 
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to freeze accounts if deemed 
suspicious.  Abubakar said the Senate believes this is giving 
the Executive too much power and has changed the bill's 
language to require a court order before an account can be 
frozen. 
 
 
4.(SBU) The other two bills -- the Money Laundering Act 
amendment and the Financial Crimes Commission Act -- 
apparently have not been modified by the Senate.  Abubakar 
assured the USG visitors that all three would be brought to a 
vote by November 27, though he acknowledged that the House 
and Senate versions of at least one bill will be discordant 
and will require "harmonization" between the two houses (i.e. 
convocation of a conference committee).  Abubukar was upbeat 
on the prospects of having the bills passed by the Senate and 
reconciled with the House before the National Assembly 
adjourns for holidays in early December. 
 
 
5.(SBU) Post will continue to monitor this situation closely. 
 
 
JETER 

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