The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit has said it already has access to all bank accounts in Nigeria.
The NFIU said this in response to a story on Saturday that it had requested for the details of the accounts of some prominent Nigerians for the purpose of probing them.
Among those listed as undergoing probe are the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Mohammed; the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; and other Principal Officers of the National Assembly.
But a statement on Saturday by the NFIU described the story as inaccurate.
Rather, it said it already has access to all such details.
The statement, signed by the Chief Media Analyst of the Unit, Ahmed Dikko, reads in full: “The attention of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), has been drawn to media reports stating that the unit has requested banks to furnish it with the account details of principal officers of the National Assembly and the Judiciary.
“Such reports are not true.
“In line with its powers as enacted in the NFIU Act, the Unit already has access to details of all bank accounts in the country and does not therefore, need to write to commercial banks asking for the same information.
“As a matter of fact, relevant reporting entities such as investigative and other Law Enforcement Agencies always rely on the NFIU for information on bank details of individuals and body corporate under investigation as they go about carrying out their functions. Such is a mandatory reporting process.
“The Unit does not also make blanket requests to all banks as is being speculated in the reports
“The media and indeed the general public are therefore, requested to disregard such reports.”