NFIU directors suspended for probing Atiku, Tinubu – Report

Two associate directors of the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) have been suspended for initiating investigations against Atiku Abubakar and Bola Ahmed Tinubu, documents seen by PREMIUM TIMES have shown.

The two NFIU officials, Mohammed Mustapha, the associate director, Intelligence and Investigation, and Fehintola Salisu, associate director, Compliance and Analysis, were suspended in August, about five months ago, for writing memos to local and foreign authorities after initiating probes against the two top political figures.

The Director of NFIU, Modibbo Tukur, appointed in January 2019 to head the unit for a five-year tenure, stated in a January 13, 2021 letter that the two officials bypassed his authorisation to initiate probes against the two men who are believed to be planning to run for the presidency in 2023.

Mr Mustapha and Ms Salisu are the remaining legacy staff members of the NFIU in the directorate cadre of the country’s foremost financial intelligence body.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the other four associate directors only joined the unit after the re-establishment of the unit through the new NFIU Act which came into force in 2018.

But Mr Tukur said their suspension was “to protect the new FIU from series of abuses they have been committing.”

“The two staff (members) were involved in acts inimical to the interest of the unit as they indulged in insubordination and disobedience of lawful authority,” he stated in the letter responding to a petition sent to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC).

Petition against Tukur

A law firm, C. Chris Ekemezie & Associate, had last year sent a petition to ICPC accusing Mr Tukur of various infractions including alleged “unexplainable” suspension of two of the agency’s staff members.

The petitioner alleged that the two staff members were suspended “for trying to profile a politically exposed person from his (Mr Tukur’s) state.”

Source: Premium Times


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