(From This Day (Nigeria) - AAGM)
Byline: OLUSEGUN OJEMUYIWA
OLUSEGUN OJEMUYIWA examines the new Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2004 and says it portrays Nigeria as an unwilling ally in the global coalition against money laundering
Money laundering is the process by which the proceeds of crime, and the true ownership of those proceeds, is changed so that the proceeds appear to come from a legitimate source. There are three acknowledged phases to money laundering namely, placement, layering and integration phases. Almost two decades since the 1988 UN Convention was adopted, and particularly since FATF issued its 40 money laundering recommendations in April 1990, dozens of governments have statutorily enacted various countermeasures. It was to the credit of FATF that Nigeria was compelled to legislate against Money Laundering via the Money Laundering Decree 1995, Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act within the Commonwealth (Enactment and Enforcement) Act 1988, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Decree No.48 of 1989, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act 2002, and the Money Laundering Act 2003. Realizing the inadequacy of these initiatives, the FATF again threaten to blacklist Nigeria. The USA realizing her leverage in the market place has thrown its weight behind FATF threat to make it economically inconvenient for any country so blacklisted. As a result of the FATF threat, Nigeria has recently came out with a new law titled the Nigerian Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2004 which was assented to by the Nigerian President on March 24 2004.
This paper essentially seeks to X-ray the new law against the background of the problem it was meant to solve that is the removal of the constraints ,statutory and logistics that make money laundering investigations, prosecutions, and forfeitures difficult, particularly in cases involving foreign persons, foreign banks, or foreign countries and point out the self defeating omissions and commissions in the new law. The new law paints Nigeria as a very unwilling ally in the Global Coalition against Money Laundering.
THE DEFINITION SECTION - an apology Comparatively speaking, the definition section of the new Act is hopelessly inadequate. Germane concepts ever recurring when money laundering is the issue are either totally left undefined or hopelessly and inadequately defined e.g words like body corporate, funds, securities, account, appeal, casual …