Reps Seek 20-years Jail Term For Terrorism Financiers

Lawmakers in the green chamber are currently pushing for a lengthy jail term for financiers of terrorism.

The leadership of the House of Representatives has put in place adequate machinery to ensure the passage of a bill seeking to prescribe 20-year jail term for those convicted of sponsoring terrorism in the country.

The bill also seeks to criminalise international terrorism, funding of terrorism and seizure of terrorist cash and property.

New Telegraph gathered from the national security and intelligence committee of the House that arrangements are at an advanced stage to conduct a public hearing on the bill.

The bill co-sponsored by Hon. Mohammed Monguno (APC, Borno) and Hon. Ahmed Babba Kaita (APC, Katsina) is titled“a bill for an act to make provisions for offences relating to terrorism, prohibit the financing of terrorism and consolidate all acts relating to terrorism, and a bill for an act to amend the terrorism act of 2011 for the purpose of applying stringent prison terms for offences of terrorism, and remove the ambiguities in the act and for related matters.”

Section 17 of the bill recommends 20 years’ imprisonment term for any person convicted of any terrorism act, while anyone who conceals information about acts of terrorism risks 10 years’ jail term on conviction.

Section 31 of the bill also mandates financial institution or designated non-financial institution to“immediately but not later than 72 hours, forward reports of suspicious transactions relating to terrorism to the financial intelligence unit which shall process such information and forward it to the relevant enforcement agency where they have sufficient reasons to suspect that the funds are derived from legal sources but are intended to be used for any Act of terrorism.”

When the bill becomes law,“any person who commits an offence is liable on conviction to a fine of N10 million or a term of five years’ imprisonment. Where a breach of subsection (1) of this section occurs and it is shown that the breach is not deliberate, the financial intelligence unit shall impose such administrative sanctions as it may deem necessary.”

“But where the institution continues with the breach, it shall on conviction, be liable to a minimum of fine of N20 million or 10 years’ imprisonment term for the principal officers of the institution,”the bill provides.

Sections 13 and 14 of the bill provides that anyone convicted for financing or own a property to be used as well as facilitate the acquisition of terrorist fund by concealment, removal out of jurisdiction, transfer to a nominee shall be liable to life imprisonment on conviction.

The bill prohibits the manufacturing, possession, acquisition, transportation, supply or use of weapons, explosives or nuclear, biological or chemical weapons, as well as research into, and development of biological and chemical weapons without lawful authority.

It also prohibits dealings with charities linked to terrorist groups, request from foreign states and to foreign states on extradition of persons involved in terrorist activities.

Section 38 of the bill empowers the Attorney General of the Federation or Inspector-General of Police with the approval of the President, to grant request made by the appropriate authority of a foreign state, to disclose any information in his possession or in the possession of any state government department or agency, relating to the actions or movement of terrorist groups or persons suspected of involvement in the Commission of terrorist acts.

The anti-terrorism financing bill, which was passed before the Christmas and New Year break has since been referred to the House committee on national security and intelligence for further legislative action.

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