Nigeria: Jonathan Raises Alarm Over Anti-Terrorism Bill

President Goodluck Jonathan on 21 June raised an alarm over the continued delay by the National Assembly to pass the Anti-Terrorism and Anti-Money Laundering Amendment Bill, saying the country risks being blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), with grave economic and political consequences.

In a letter to the Senate reminding it of the urgency in passing the two bills into law, the President said the FATF was determined to apply requisite sanctions if Nigeria showed no serious commitment to addressing the identified deficiencies and pass the bills into law before June 30, 2010.

According to him, failure to act urgently would among other consequences, frustrate and hamper legitimate international financial transactions flowing from Nigeria.
The President informed the senators that late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua had in October 2009 constituted a Presidential Inter-Ministerial/Agency Committee on FATF Review Process, chaired by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to engage the FATF group, which had identified strategic deficiencies in Nigeria’s anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime.

Last month Amnesty International released a statement in which it expressed that certain provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Bill do not comply with Nigeria’s international and regional human rights obligations, and urged the Nigerian government to undertake not to pass the Bill into law without further detailed review and amendment. Of particular concern are provisions relating to investigation, detention, and trial; provisions that are imprecise and overbroad; and provisions that are inconsistent with prescribed human rights in relation to due process, deprivation of liberty and fair trial, among others.

(h/t ICJ)


One Response

  1. On 7 July, the Senate Joint Committee on Terrorism proposed to introduce provision for the death penalty in the Bill for an Act to provide for measures to combat terrorism and for related matters, to apply to anyone found guilty of engaging in terrorist acts. Reportedly, the bill also seeks to empower all the security agencies to carry out searches of any premises in case of urgency, without search warrants.

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