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Gumi condemns FG’s list, says ‘Nigerians are not financing terrorism’

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Sheikh Ahmad Gumi

Islamic cleric Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has expressed disagreement with the Federal Government over its newly revealed list of persons tied to terrorism financing in the country.

The Federal Government has identified 15 entities, including nine persons and six Bureau of Change operators and firms, who are suspected of financing terrorism.

The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit shared details of the development in an email to our correspondent on Tuesday night headlined “Designation of Individuals and Entities for March 18, 2024.”

The document disclosed that the Nigeria Sanctions Committee met on March 18, 2024, and recommended that specific persons and businesses be sanctioned for their role in terrorism financing.

Tukur Mamu, Gumi’s ally and Kaduna-based publisher, was named first in the document and is currently being tried by the Federal Government for allegedly supporting the terrorists who attacked the Abuja-Kaduna train in March 2022.

In the document, Mamu was alleged to have “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.”

However, in response to the development on Twitter spaces hosted by the Daily Trust on Wednesday, Gumi, who criticised the list, stated that security agencies had no jurisdiction to call someone a terrorist financier.

He said that no Nigerian would sponsor terrorism, adding that terrorists fund their operations with ransom money gathered from kidnapped victims’ families.

“No Nigerian will put his money into terrorism; we’re beyond that. These people are financing themselves by taking our children for ransom.

“So, how can we say some people are financing terrorism because there is a misunderstanding between them?” the cleric said.

He added, “Now they are looking for N1 billion for these children (kidnapping victims) to be released. They (the terrorists) financed themselves by kidnapping. I think it’s rubbish to just frame your political opponents as financing terrorism.”

Speaking on Manu, Gumi stated that the besieged publisher should face punishment if proved guilty by a court of law and a court of public opinion.

“Mamu’s case is in court. Let’s wait to hear from the court. It’s wrong to resort to a 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 financier? 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,” he added.

The Punch adds that Gumi had recently expressed his determination to converse with bandits who abducted over 287 pupils from Kuriga Government Secondary and LEA Primary Schools in the Chikun Local Government Area of the state.

Gumi claimed this in an attempt to secure the release of the abducted schoolchildren if President Bola Tinubu gave him the opportunity to bargain.

According to a famous Islamic scholar, Tinubu must avoid making the same error as previous President Muhammadu Buhari, who refused to engage in discussion with robbers.

Bandits had stormed the Kuriga district of Kaduna State’s Chikun Local Government district, shooting at their victims and abducting at least 280 students and instructors from both schools.

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