The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), in a circular, warned Capital Market Operators (CMOs) in the country against conducting any form of business with people and groups linked to terrorism.
According to the commission, the operators must ensure that any suspicious transactions recorded must be reported to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) for probe.
Going forward, while existing clients of the operators would be screened, new clients are advised to be verified against domestic and foreign terrorist groups.
The statement read: “All Capital Market Operators (CMOs) are required by this circular to screen and verify every client against the above proscribed groups and any other proscribed terrorist group(s), United Nation Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) list, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) list, etc. prior to the on-boarding of a new client and when carrying out one-off transaction(s).
“All existing clients of CMOs shall be screened before executing any transaction from the date of this circular.”
“In line with the findings of screening, CMOs shall file suspicious transaction reports (STRs) immediately to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).”
This development emerged two weeks after the federal government declared bandits as terrorists.
Prior to the declaration, Justice Taiwo Taiwo of a Federal High Court in Abuja on November 25, 2021, had granted an ex parte application by the Federal Government for Yan Bindiga (Hausa word for gunmen) and Yan Ta’adda (Hausa word for terrorists) to be declared as terrorists.
And even though the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government had foot-dragged the court ruling , it later made the declaration.
In the last year, states in the North-West geopolitical zone including Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and Kaduna have been ravaged by banditry. The nefarious activities of the marauders have also spilt into the North Central and other zones in the country.
The bandits have killed hundreds of innocent persons, kidnapped several others including schoolchildren, with some still in their custody, while some are nursing injuries sustained during the attacks.