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Controversy as Gumi Disputes FG's Terrorism Financing List

Sheik Ahmad Gumi

Controversial Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmad Gumi, has disagreed with the Federal Government over its recently released list of those linked to terrorism financing in the country.

According to reports, the Federal Government uncovered the identity of 15 entities, including nine individuals and six Bureau De Change operators and firms, allegedly involved in terrorism financing.

Details of the development were revealed by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, in an email sent to our correspondent on Tuesday night, entitled “Designation of Individuals and Entities for March 18, 2024.”

The document revealed that the Nigeria Sanctions Committee met on March 18, 2024, where specific individuals and entities were recommended for sanction following their involvement in terrorism financing.

Top of the list of individuals named in the document was Gumi’s ally and Kaduna-based publisher, Tukur Mamu, who is currently being tried by the Federal Government for allegedly aiding the terrorists who attacked the Abuja-Kaduna train in March 2022.

According to the document, Mamu “participated in the financing of terrorism by receiving and delivering ransom payments over the sum of $200,000 US in support of ISWAP terrorists for the release of hostages of the Abuja-Kaduna train attack.”

But reacting to the development on Twitter spaces organised by Daily Trust on Wednesday, Gumi, who faulted the list, explained that the security agencies had no right to label anyone a terrorist financier.

He claimed that no Nigerian would finance terrorism, adding that the terrorists are financing their operations with monies made from ransom collected from kidnapped victims’ families.

“No Nigerian will put his money into terrorism, we’re beyond that. These people are financing themselves by taking our children for ransom.

“So, how can we say some people are financing terrorism because there is a misunderstanding between them?” the cleric said.

He added, “Now they are looking for N1 billion for these children (kidnap victims) to be released. They (terrorists) financed themselves by kidnapping. I think it’s rubbish to just frame your political opponents as financing terrorism.”

Speaking on Manu, Gumi said the embattled publisher should be punished if found guilty by a court of law and court of public opinion.

“Mamu’s case is in the court. Let’s wait to hear from the court. It’s wrong to resort to media trial. Let’s wait for the court to state if he is a financier or not. I think if he is acquitted, he has a strong case to make on libel.

“Who declares someone a terrorist financer? Is it the court of law or a security agency? The security agency has no right to declare anyone a terrorist financier. The case is already in court, so why are they judging him on the pages of the newspaper? Once a case is in court, you allow the court to decide,” he added.

The PUNCH reports that Gumi had recently revealed his intention to dialogue with bandits who abducted about 287 schoolchildren from Kuriga Government Secondary and LEA Primary Schools in the Chikun Local Government Area of the state.

Gumi said this in a bid to facilitate the release of the abducted schoolchildren should President Bola Tinubu give him the opportunity to negotiate.

According to the prominent Islamic scholar, Tinubu must not repeat the mistake made by former President Muhammadu Buhari, who refused to dialogue with bandits.

Bandits had invaded the Kuriga area of the Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State, shooting at their victims before taking away at least 280 of the pupils and teachers from both schools.

Source: PUNCH

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