Corruption war: Buhari seeks abolition of banks’ secrecy jurisdiction

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Disturbed by the frustrations and long delays in tracking illicit financial transactions, occasioned by “secrecy jurisdiction” and “offshore financial centres,” President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday said his administration would push for the abolition of banks’ secrecy jurisdiction amongst others, as the war against corruption enters the “Next Level.”

The practice enables banks to shield people suspected of financial crimes to either undermine laws, or escape rules and regulations of other countries, while relying on “banks’ secrecy.”

Buhari, while noting that the anti-corruption fight was not an end in itself but an instrument not only to fight poverty but a means to restore the right order of things, urged African countries to collaborate more on tackling the menace.

President Buhari speaking at the “National Democracy Day Anti-Corruption Summit,” with the theme, “Curbing Electoral Spending: A Panacea to Public Corruption,” at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, said his administration would “Press for a crackdown on safe havens for corrupt assets, abolishing of bank secrecy jurisdictions and tax havens on the continent and beyond.”

The President said his administration would use outcome of the interaction as the basis for a more concerted effort to strengthen the capacity of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-corruption agencies by providing additional material, organisational and logistical support.

Buhari, who assured that he would close existing legislative loopholes, facilitate collaboration with the judiciary, and strengthen the criminal justice system, also promised to enforce asset declaration by public office holders and ensure sanctions by professional bodies against lawyers, bankers, brokers, public officials, and other individuals facilitating corrupt practices.

Other actions to be taken by the government include comprehensive support and protection to whistle-blowers, witnesses and victims of corruption, adoption and formulation of the policy of ‘naming and shaming’ all those who engage in … Read More...