U.A.E. terrorist list adds pressure on Nigeria’s officials

For Nigeria, it is not time to name financiers in an ongoing investigation

The United Arab Emirates terrorist list includes 6 Nigerians prosecuted for having funded Boko Haram. The list revives pressure on Nigeria to fight terrorism in its own country.

On September 13, the United Arab Emirates cabinet issued a resolution adding 38 individuals and 15 entities on its local terrorist list.

The Emirates News Agency disclosed the names of the individuals coming from 14 different countries, including 4 from the U.A.E. and 6 from Nigeria.

The 6 Nigerians were convicted in 2020 in the U.A.E. for financing Boko Haram between 2015 and 2016, transferring US $782,000 from Dubai. Two of them were sentenced to prison for life and the four others received a 10-year prison sentence.

At the same time, Nigeria was giving amnesty to repentant Boko Haram terrorists. A senator from the majority admitted the slow pace of prosecution in his country.

Publicly prosecuting and designating financiers of Boko Haram from the U.A.E. added pressure on Nigeria’s officials in their fight against the terrorist organization created in the north of the country nineteen years ago.

Nigeria is the third country most affected by terrorism after Afghanistan and Iraq, according to the Global Terrorism Index.

Abubakar Malami, minister of justice and attorney general of Nigeria
Abubakar Malami, minister of justice and attorney general of Nigeria says it’s not time for naming Boko Haram sponsors

Not naming Boko Haram sponsors during an ongoing investigation

Doubts on Nigeria’s actions and transparency increased as the ministry of justice informed last March that at least 400 people financing Boko Haram’s operations had been arrested. They have yet to be prosecuted.

Moreover, the United States ambassador of Nigeria, Mary Leonard, affirmed they were very eager to help Nigeria identify sponsors of Boko Haram.

The ministry of justice, Abubakar Malami, defended Nigeria’s position explaining it is no time to “name and shame” Boko Haram sponsors during an ongoing investigation, in order to preserve a successful outcome.

For the purpose of investigation, I would not like to be pre-emptive in terms of making disclosures that will have effect of undermining the successes we are recording“, Minister Abubakar Malami said to Nigeria News Agency.

To a statement sent to Nigerian news organizations, the minister of justice wrote that over 1,000 Boko Haram case files have been reviewed and 285 charged in court.

While in New York during the United Nations Assembly, he also said Nigeria was trying to recover 200 million pounds (US $272 million) from the United Kingdom as well as other assets looted to finance Boko Haram.

Read more about Nigeria

UAE convicts 6 Nigerians for wiring $782,000 to Boko Haram, FG official indicted, Daily Post, 2020, Free accessFish out sponsors of Boko Haram, Senate tells FG, Vanguard, 2020, Free accessGlobal Terrorism Index, Vision of Humanity, 2020, Free accessTension as U.S. moves to name Boko Haram sponsors, Guardian, September 2021, Free accessFG has identified, blocked terrorist financiers in Nigeria – Malami, Nigeria News Agency, September 2021, Free access

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