Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, today called for the sanction of banks and other financial institutions that help in financial crimes both locally and internationally. Osinbajo made the call when he spoke at the Conference on Promoting International Co-operation in Combating Illicit Financial Flows and Enhancing Asset Recovery to Foster Sustainable Development in Abuja. Osinbajo in his speech, said many countries have signed treaties for combating drugs and human trafficking related crimes but have failed to deploy such measures towards the fight against financial crimes. Speaking at the event, Osinbajo said:
“Many countries have signed treaties that proceeds from drugs, illegal traffic in persons proceeds of money. Somehow proceeds from political corruption has not attracted the same outrage that proceeds from narcotics and trafficking in persons have attracted. It took years for some people to agree that when somebody loot money where people make decent living that is more criminal than crime against humanity, more dangerous than trafficking in drugs. It is a good thing that we are here with our partners who agree that not only are these stolen assets criminalize but that they are returned to their appropriate owners. There is no way this the transfer of this assets can happen without a handshake between the countries that they are transferred and the international banking institutions in the countries in which they are transferred, there is no way it will happen without some form of connivance. We have to look at somehow delegitimizing those kinds of Financial institutions and criminalizing them, so that banks and financial institutions that actually engage in this are be called out and made to face the consequences of engaging in criminal practices. If that isn’t done we are not likely to go very far. For there to be collaborations, there must first be connivance in the agreement and conventions we will be signing. We must find a way to ensure that financial institutions are not given a free run and must also hold them accountable”.