Emefiele Operated 593 Illegal US, UK, China Accounts

Emefiele Operated 593 Illegal US, UK, China Accounts

Unveiling Financial Irregularities

In a startling revelation, investigators have accused the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, of maintaining 593 illegal bank accounts in the United States, United Kingdom, and China. A Special Investigator on the CBN and Related Entities, Jim Obaze, found that Emefiele had secretly kept billions of naira in these accounts without the necessary approvals from the CBN Board of directors and the CBN Investment Committee.

Unauthorized Deposits in UK Banks

Obaze’s investigation also revealed that Emefiele had unlawfully placed £543,482,213 in fixed deposits in UK banks without proper authorization. As a result, the ex-CBN governor is now facing serious allegations of financial misconduct.

Silence from Emefiele’s Counsel

When asked for comment, Emefiele’s legal representative, Mathew Bukkaa, SAN, requested a text message detailing the inquiry. However, as of now, no response has been received from Bukkaa.

Final Report Submitted to President Bola Tinubu

Obaze has submitted his final report, titled “Report of the Special Investigation on CBN and Related Entities (Chargeable Offences),” to President Bola Tinubu. This report provides details of Emefiele’s alleged unauthorized investments in foreign accounts during his time as the CBN governor.

Emefiele Faces Fresh Charges on Naira Redesign Policy

Potential Prosecution for Illegal Currency Issuance

Documents obtained suggest that Emefiele may face additional criminal charges related to the handling of the CBN naira redesign policy. The former governor, Tunde Sabiu, and 12 top CBN directors may face prosecution for actively engaging in the illegal issuance of currency under Section 19 of the CBN Act.

Lack of Approval for Naira Redesign

The investigator discovered that the naira redesign policy commenced without the approval of then-President Muhammadu Buhari. Despite Emefiele’s notification to Buhari about the redesign on October 6, 2022, the actual approval languished until he tardily disclosed it to the CBN board on December 15, 2022.

Questionable Contract with De La Rue

Emefiele allegedly awarded the naira redesign contract to De La Rue of the UK for £205,000, bypassing the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc. The investigator revealed that N61.5 billion was allocated for the printing of new notes, of which N31.79 billion had already been paid.

CBN Probe Exposes Financial Mismanagement

Misuse of Ways and Means, COVID-19 Funds

The CBN investigation under Emefiele’s leadership has uncovered fraudulent activities, including the misuse of N26.627 trillion in Ways and Means and the mishandling of the COVID-19 intervention fund.

Unauthorized Debits and Anticipatory Approvals

The investigator uncovered instances where unauthorized debits and anticipatory approvals for substantial sums of money took place. These include debiting the Consolidated Revenue Fund Account and granting anticipatory approval for payments to the Federal Government, raising questions about the legality of such transactions.

Abuses in CBN Ways and Means

The report detailed how the Ways and Means of the Apex Bank were abused during the Buhari administration, with padded approvals and outright stealing to balance the CBN’s books. The investigator highlighted instances where officers colluded to defraud and steal from the country.

Unjustifiable Legal Fees and Financial Misrepresentation

Emefiele faced allegations of expending N1.7 billion on dubious legal fees for 19 cases linked to the naira redesign policy. Additionally, he allegedly misrepresented the presidential approval for the NESI Stabilisation Strategy Limited, leading to financial impropriety.

Emefiele Granted N300m Bail

Alleged Manipulation of Naira Exchange Rate

Further allegations against Emefiele include the manipulation of the naira exchange rate, fraudulent implementation of the e-naira project, and the exemption of three foreign firms from paying income tax.

Illegal Withdrawal/Theft from CBN Vault

The investigation also revealed the illegal withdrawal/theft of $6.23 million from the CBN vault by two individuals using a forged presidential letter. The suspects, currently in custody, presented the forged letter, supposedly signed by Buhari, to withdraw funds meant for foreign election observation missions.

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