The new anti-money laundering law in Nigeria has criminalized collection from anyone by anyone any amount above five million naira cash at a time or for a single transaction. For instance, if you sell your house for N5.5m and the buyer pays you in cash, you will go to jail.

Whether you pay a fine or serve the time, you will become an ex-convict for selling your property or goods and collecting cash.

This could be the reason why CBN has stipulated that for any cash withdrawal above N5m the beneficiary/account holder will be required to fill a lot of documents to enable the security agencies to follow the money.

The anti-money laundering law demands that everybody in Nigeria should route all payments in excess of N5m through a bank by way of electronic or manual bank transfers. The Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), which is a specialized agency of the federal government that monitors follow money in Nigeria, wants to see the flow of the money to ascertain who is paying who and to trace payments to criminal elements in the society. NFIU works closely with EFCC, CBN, ICPC, DSS, Interpol, Nigeria Police and FIRS.

Again, traders could have over N5m sales proceeds in their shops or vaults but they must have documented evidence that no one customer paid more than N5m for goods. Hence, business people could take more than N5m to the bank to lodge into their accounts. However, bankers are under strict obligation to notify NFIU of any of such lodgements.

The unsaid side of this whole thing is that anyone who is caught with any amount above N5m cash would have to provide a satisfactory evidence to prove the source(s) of the money.

Why subject yourself to the danger of imprisonment if the source of your funds is genuine? Don’t fall into the temptation of receiving cash from anyone in excess of N5m.

Can you see why politicians are kicking against the recent cashless policy imposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria? It will impede their capacity to distribute large amount of cash for vote buying across the country even as they are presently contending with how to return to the banks, the old notes they had stored, that would become useless before the election. It is a big tragedy for wealthy politicians that depend on vote buying to win.

The money for vote buying is usually huge. For instance, the cost of purchasing 5,000 votes at a discounted price of N2,000 is N10,000,000 and payment is done cash.

Payment through bank transfers for vote buying will land both the giver and voter in jail as many people will be asked to come and explain inflows and outflows in and out of their accounts within the voting periods. This anti-money laundering law has now been made more effective by CBN’s cash policy. Nsogbu di!

The truth is that anyone who can handle N5m can learn how to make bank transfers. So, the court will not accept plea for ignorance. The law is clear on that. Hence, 30 lawyers cannot save anyone that violates this law because it is has a strict liability whereby the judge can do nothing but to convict the accused.

Now you know, please explain to your neighbour.



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