On the 4th of May, 2022, the House of Representatives reconvened to pass a Bill for an Act to Repeal the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 and Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act, 2013, and Enact the Terrorism (Prohibition and Prevention) Bill, 2022, and another Bill for an Act to Repeal the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and Enact the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2022.
These bills when signed would “provide for an effective, unified and comprehensive legal, regulatory and institutional framework for the detection, prevention, prohibition, prosecution and punishment of acts of terrorism, terrorism financing, proliferation and financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in Nigeria; and for related matters;” and “provide comprehensive legal and institutional framework for the prevention and prohibition of money laundering in Nigeria, establish the special control unit under the economic and financial crimes commission; and for related matters”, respectively.
Also considered and adopted were a “Bill for an Act to make Comprehensive Provisions for Seizure, Confiscation, Forfeiture and Management of Properties Reasonably Suspected to have been Derived from Unlawful activities;” and a “Bill for an Act to Provide Framework for the Support, Management and Protection of Witnesses who Provide Information, Evidence or any other Assistance to Law Enforcement Agencies during Inquiries, Investigations or Prosecution,” which would strengthen the whistleblowers policy.
The Center for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch (CeFTIW) considers the passage of these bills, which is long overdue, a welcome development that would strengthen the nation’s capacity to fight and prosecute criminal actors, especially given the nation’s struggle against organized crime in recent years.
As a critical stakeholder that has been at the forefront of advocating for the passage of these bills, the Center expresses the belief that the bills when passed to law would further institutionalize and solidify the fight against crime and criminality in the society. These legal frameworks would also boost confidence of security agencies as they prosecute organized crime that have long become a menace and a threat to national unity and peace.
While we call for expedited joint action by the senate and house of representatives, we expect President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to these bills that would consolidate and strengthen the nation’s fight against corruption and insecurity.