Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had has uncovered a religious organisation laundering money for terrorists causing havocs across the country.
The anti-graft agency also said N7 billion fraud proceeds was traced to another religious organisation found to be offering protection to a money launderer after some money suspected to have been laundered was traced to the sect’s bank account.
EFCC Chairman, Ola Olukoyede, disclosed this at a one-day dialogue in Abuja, on Wednesday.
Olukoyede, who was speaking at a programme with the theme: “Youth, Religion, and the Fight against Corruption”, revealed that the religious body was found culpable while protecting a money launderer after some money suspected to have been laundered was traced to the sect’s bank account.
He stated that some religious organisations, institutions, sects, and bodies have been found culpable in laundering money.
Olukoyede added that one religious sect was found to be laundering money for terrorists.
Olukoyede said one of such religious bodies dragged the EFCC to court to protect its leader after laundered money was traced to their bank account.
He said the religious sect procured a court injunction restraining the EFCC from inviting, arresting or prosecuting its leader.
But the EFCC chairman did not name the concerned religious organisations involved.
The EFCC Chairman said, “A religious sect in this country had been found to be laundering money for terrorists. We were able to trace some laundered money to a religious organisation.
“When we approached the religious organisation about it and we were carrying out our investigation, we got a restraining order stopping us from carrying out our investigation.
“We will not give up on recovering the stolen funds.
“It is so sad that as I stand before the eminent audience today, that our experience in fighting corruption has to do with the religious leaders and even traditional rulers.
“As I stand before you there is a matter we are handling of over N30 billion fleeced from Nigeria, and we were able to trace N7 billion to a particular religious body.
“As we wrote a letter to the leader, the next thing we saw was a restraining order, stopping us from inviting them, stopping us from recovering the money.”
He, however, stressed the need for religious, traditional leaders and public officials to assist the EFCC in its efforts to curb corruption in Nigeria.
The EFCC Chairman also vowed that the anti-graft agency would not spare anyone found culpable of financial crimes, including members of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.
“No one will be spared, we’ll probe everyone who is suspected to be committing financial crimes, and these include members of the executive, legislative, and judiciary arms of government,” Olukoyede said.
Vice President, Kashim Shettima, who represented President Bola Tinubu at the event, spoke extensively about the need to curb corruption in government, and amongst young people.
Other dignitaries present at the dialogue included the Attorney General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi; former Minister of Power, Babatunde Fashola; the Ọọni of Ifẹ, Ọba Enitan Ogunwusi; the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar; the President, Christian Association of Nigeria; the Chairperson, Nigeria Committee of Vice Chancellors, Prof Lilian Salami, and the Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, Prof Ishaq Oloyede.