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Gumi faults FG’s terrorism financing list, says govt moving against opponents



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Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmad Gumi, has differed from the Federal Government’s recently released list of those allegedly linked to terrorism financing in the country.

He stated that it was wrong for the government or security agencies to label anyone a terrorist financier, when the court had not declared such, even as he lamented that those listed were opponents of government.

Recall that the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit had revealed the identity of 15 entities, nine individuals and six Bureau De Change operators and firms, reportedly involved in terrorism financing.

The document revealed that the Nigeria Sanctions Committee met on March 18, 2024, where specific individuals and entities were recommended for sanction following their alleged 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 terrorists who attacked the Abuja-Kaduna train in March 2022.

The document had it that 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.”

READ ALSO: Nigerian security agencies know bandits’ hideouts —Sheikh Gumi

In his reaction, on X spaces organised by the Daily Trust on Wednesday, Gumi maintained that the security agencies had no right to label anyone a terrorist financier.

The controversial cleric said: “So, how can we say some people are financing terrorism because there is a misunderstanding between them?

“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.”

On Mamu, he noted: “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.”

Gumi had urged President Bola Tinubu to negotiate with bandits in order to end the spate of killings and kidnapping, especially in the northern part of the country.

He noted that Tinubu should not repeat the alleged mistake made by former President Muhammadu Buhari in ignoring negotiations with the bandits.

The cleric had also made public his intention to dialogue with bandits who recently abducted about 287 schoolchildren from Kuriga Government Secondary and LEA Primary Schools in the Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna state.

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