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CBN Orders Freezing Of Churches,Mosques Accounts Across Nigeria

June 22, 2013

The Central Bank of Nigeria will soon begin the freezing of accounts of Churches and Mosques across the country..
CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi, had two weeks ago directed banks to commence the updating of the accounts of designated non-financial businesses and professions with evidence of registration.
The CBN circular, stated that the DNFBPs include religious and charitable organisations, dealers in jewellery, precious metals and stones, cars and luxury goods, audit firms, tax consultants, clearing and settlement companies, lawyers, notaries, other independent legal practitioners, chartered accountants and trust company service providers.
Others include hotels, casinos, supermarkets, real estate agents, non-governmental organisations, Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment or appropriate regulatory authorities.
It said, “In consideration of some challenges encountered by the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering as a result of the number of persons seeking to enjoy late compliance, the CBN has decided to further extend the second deadline of April 30, 2013 by eight months to December 31, 2013.”
The bank warned DNFBPs that were yet to register to take advantage of the extension or risk losing their accounts.
Under the new regime, the designated institutions are required to fill forms listing their shareholders and directors.
Religious organisations are registered under Act C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act which is for non-governmental organisations while the new regime has placed them under Act F, which applies to businesses.
They are also required to get their forms endorsed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, as part of CBN’s ongoing tracking of sources of funds for Boko Haram and other terrorist groups in the country.
Sources said the Christian Association of Nigeria had directed churches not to fill any form in any bank. It has also asked affected members to forward evidences of the freezing of their accounts to their respective state secretariats for onward transmission to the national secretariat.
CAN’s Public Relations Officer for the 19 Northern states and Abuja, Mr. Sunny Oibe, confirmed the development on the telephone on Friday.
He said, “We are preparing our grounds in CAN for that and we will respond in a big way. What has the church got to do with the issue of Boko Haram? Churches are not profit-making organisations and so how can somebody now begin to equate churches with business that doesn’t concern them?
“They know those who are sponsors and financiers of Boko Haram and the people through whom this money are paid.
“We are therefore pleading with President Goodluck Jonathan to caution the CBN Governor.”

When contacted, the media aide to the President of CAN, Mr. Kenny Ashaka, said, “For now, we don’t want to make any comment on the issue. We will act as at when due.”

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