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Published On: Sat, Jun 22nd, 2013

CBN Denies Freezing Religious Bodies’ Accounts

HHeadquarters Central Bank of Nigeria

LAGOS JUNE 22ND (URHOBOTODAY) The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has denied reports that it had ordered the freezing of accounts of religious groups over alleged links to terrorist groups.
In a statement issued and signed by the Director, Corporate Communications of the apex bank, Ugochukwu Okoroafor, the apex bank said denied the report, saying the allegations that the CBN had ordered the freezing of the accounts of some religious organisations, citing alleged suspicion of links with terrorist groups were false.

He stated that “the CBN has not ordered the closure or freezing of the bank account of any religious body or any institution whatsoever as alleged in the publications and posts. There is, therefore, no iota of truth in these allegations.”
He explained that prior to 2006, the country had been on the infamous list of the Non-Cooperating Countries and Territories (NCCTs) of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global watchdog on financial crimes and the government had consequently taken measures to comply with standards of the FATF.
“On August 2, 2012, the CBN issued a circular requiring all such account holders classified as DNFBPs to update, within 6 months, their account information in their respective banks. This deadline was extended by another 3 months through another circular dated February 25, 2013. On June 18, 2013, following exhaustive discussions with various interest groups, the CBN conceded yet another 8-month extension to December 31, 2013, for all such account holders to comply.

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