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Sheikh Gumi Disputes FG’s List of Terrorism Financiers

During an event organized by Daily Trust on Thursday, March 21, Gumi criticized the government’s approach, stating that security agencies do not have the authority to label anyone as a terrorist financier.

The Federal government, on Wednesday, March 20, had identified 15 entities, including nine individuals and six BDC operators and firms, for their alleged involvement in terrorism financing, as revealed in a document by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).

Among those named was Gumi’s spokesperson and Kaduna-based publisher, Tukur Mamu. According to the report, Mamu was accused of participating in financing terrorism by receiving and delivering ransom payments amounting to $200,000 US to support ISWAP terrorists for the release of hostages from the Abuja-Kaduna train attack.

Mamu, the publisher of Desert Herald Newspaper, was apprehended by Interpol along with his two wives and another individual as they awaited a connecting flight to Saudi Arabia for the lesser Hajj in September 2022. He was detained by Egyptian authorities at the request of the Nigerian government. Upon his return to Nigeria, the State Security Service (SSS) took him into custody at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano.

Despite Mamu leading negotiations for the release of the abducted passengers from the Abuja-Kaduna train, he was accused of collaborating with the terrorists behind the abduction.

In response to the government’s decision to name him and others as terrorists’ financiers, Gumi asserted that no Nigerian would fund terrorism. He pointed out that terrorists sustain their operations through ransom payments made by the families of kidnapped victims.

Gumi stated, “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?”

Regarding the alleged involvement of Mamu in terrorism, Gumi emphasized that if proven guilty, Mamu should face punishment both in a court of law and in the court of public opinion. He criticized the government for what he termed as framing its political opponents as terror financiers, calling it ‘rubbish.’

Gumi questioned,“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.”

Previously, the controversial cleric had appealed to the Federal Government to engage in dialogue with the bandits who abducted school children in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State, as a means of rescuing the students.

This came after reports on Thursday, March 7, revealed that gunmen raided a school in Kaduna State, allegedly kidnapping about 287 children alongside some staff members.

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