The Federal Government is reportedly preparing charges against about 400 suspected sponsors and financiers of Boko Haram insurgency.
The suspects were said to have been arrested in a nationwide operation last month.
According to The PUNCH, the businessmen, who include bureau de change operators, were arrested in Kano, Borno, Abuja, Lagos, Sokoto, Adamawa, Kaduna and Zamfara States.
The newspaper said it gathered on Monday, that criminal charges bordering on terrorism are already being prepared against the suspects, as investigations continued into their criminal activities.
The arrests followed the jailing of six Nigerians in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over allegations of terrorism financing.
Umar Gwandu, media aide to the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, was quoted as saying on Monday that the prosecution of the suspects “will commence as quickly as possible.”
Gwandu hinted that charges would soon be preferred against the suspects, however, he declined providing further details.
But it was stated that the federal government is still investigating the level of the businessmen’s connections to the terrorist group.
The Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) in collaboration with the Department of State Services (DSS), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had arrested 400 suspected financiers of terrorism in the country.
Billions of naira traced to businesses belonging to persons of interest were said to have been blocked in banks in series of “post no debit” letters sent out to banks by the CBN and NFIU as part of the crackdown.
It was also stated that the apex bank had obtained court orders directing the freezing of dozens of accounts flagged for suspicious transactions.
The operation reportedly kicked off last year with massive gathering and analysis of financial intelligence and uplink analysis, leading to initial marking of 60 businesses and individuals.
The list of affected persons comprised bureau de change operators, gold miners and sellers, and other businessmen suspected to have links with the Boko Haram terrorists.
Some traders at the foreign exchange open market in Wapa, Fagge Local Government Area of Kano State, were allegedly picked up on March 9, 15 and 16, 2021.