Shocker: CBN Investigator Accuses Emefiele Of Hiding Billions In 593 Accounts

Adoga Stephen By Adoga Stephen - Editor-In-Chief
8 Min Read

Former CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele is facing further charges after a special inquiry discovered billions of dollars in unapproved offshore accounts, dubious legal costs, and irregularities around the naira redesign program.

According to the report, which was handed to President Bola Tinubu by the Special Investigator on the Central Bank of Nigeria and Related Entities, Jim Obaze, Emefiele fraudulently deposited £543 million in UK banks alone, along with billions more in the US and China. These unauthorized transactions, possibly worth hundreds of billions of naira, were allegedly carried out without the consent of the board of directors or the investment committee.

into Wednesday, Obaze delivered his final report to President Tinubu, titled “Report of the Special Investigation on CBN and Related Entities (Chargeable Offenses).”

The report partly read, “The former governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, invested Nigeria’s money without authorisation in 593 foreign bank accounts in the United States, China, and the United Kingdom while he was in charge.

“All the accounts where the billions were lodged have all been traced by the investigator.”

The probe looks at the naira redesign policy, which appears to have evaded proper processes. Documents show Emefiele granted the contract without board permission and may have deceived former President Buhari about the scope of the effort.

“The former President tagged along but did not approve the redesign as required by law. Buhari merely approved that the currency be printed in Nigeria. The redesign was only mentioned to the board of the CBN on December 15, 2022, after Emefiele had awarded the contract to Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc on October 31, 2022,’’ the documents noted.

Emefiele, along with officials who allegedly influenced the process, might face penalties for unlawful currency issuance.

After the NSPM indicated it couldn’t fulfil the contract in a timely manner, Emefiele was alleged to have contracted the redesign of the naira to De La Rue of the UK for £205, 000 pounds under the head of the Currency Operations Department.

Obaze discovered in his report that N61.5 billion was set aside for the production of fresh notes, of which N31.79 billion had been paid.

Meanwhile, as of August 9, 2023, N769 billion in new notes were in circulation, according to results.

The investigation sheds light on the alleged misappropriation of the CBN’s Ways and Means advances to the Federal Government. According to the study, officials overstated approvals, took unauthorized withdrawals, and even made up bogus narratives to hide anomalies. This practice allegedly led in the disappearance of nearly N198 billion.

The document reads, “In an instance, they (senior CBN and government officials) padded what the former President Muhammadu Buhari approved with N198,963,162, 187. There are instances where no approvals are received from the former president and yet, N500bn is taken and debited to Ways and Means.

“There are more shocking instances where the erstwhile CBN governor and his four deputy governors connived to steal outright in order to balance the books of the CBN.

“This was by violently taking money from the Consolidated Revenue account and then charging it to Ways and Means. It was a total of N124.860bn. They even created the narration as a presidential subsidy and expanded the ways and Means portfolio to accommodate crime.

“The CBN officers and even the then acting CBN governor could not produce the Presidential Approval of most of the expenses described as ‘Ways and Means.’ When confronted, to provide the breakdown of the supposed N22.7trn that was presented to the 9th National Assembly to illegally securitise as ‘Ways and Means’ financing, they were only able to partially explain a total of N9.063 trn or N9.2trn depending on which official you are considering his submission and an unreasonable attribution of non-negotiated interest element of N6.5tn.

“This shows that this was the point where the officers of the immediate past administration as well as the erstwhile CBN governor and his four deputy governors connived, defrauded, and stole from the commonwealth of our country with the aid of civil servants.’’

Continuing, the report said, “The true position of the Ways and Means as documented from the reconciliation between the CBN and the Ministry of Finance at the time is N4,449,149,411,584.54.

“This may have been the main reason the past administration hurriedly sought that the advances of N22.7trn be securitised by the 9th National Assembly on December 19, 2022, which they also hurriedly did despite the fact that it contravenes section 38 of the CBN Act, 2007.”

In addition, the investigators express worries about anomalies in the COVID-19 intervention fund, citing specific examples of circumventing legal processes and potentially diverting cash.

Legal expenses totaling N1.7 billion for 19 lawsuits expended during the currency redesign debate add to the list of suspected violations.

The document read, “The Presidential approval granted by then President Goodluck Jonathan was rightly stated by him NESI should be a company limited by guarantee but the Committee of Governors misled the Board of the CBN by relying on non-existent advice by the office of Attorney-General and Minister of Justice to incorporate a company limited by shares for which the allotted share capital exceeded the authorised share capital (See 380th meeting of the Committee of Governors held in January in January 2015) and allotting unauthorised share capital to Mr Godwin Emefiele and Mr Mudashiru Olaitan without lawful approval by the President.

“N1.325bn was stolen pre-incorporation and the money funnelled to four companies, including a legal firm which got N300mn.’’

An investment firm was accused of illegally collecting N4.89 billion between 2015 and 2021.

The business received N262 million in 2015, N464 million in 2016, N550 million in 2017, N726 million in 2018, N762 million in 2019, N684 million in 2020, and N1.44 billion in 2021, for a total of N4.89 billion.

Emefiele is also accused of paying N17.2 billion to 14 deposit money banks involved in the Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility.

“A total of 14 DMBs engaged in the manipulation by unlawfully arranging and collecting 1.9535 per cent of the total disbursements paid to the DMBs participating in the Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility.

According to the inquiry, Emefiele may face additional charges for suspected currency rate manipulation, fraudulent e-naira implementation, and tax exemptions offered to foreign corporations.

The inquiry also uncovered an unusual unlawful withdrawal or theft of $6.23 million from the CBN vault by two individuals who utilised a falsified presidential letter.

On February 7 and 8, 2023, the defendants in detention allegedly produced a counterfeit document ostensibly signed by Buhari in order to withdraw money allegedly intended for payment for international election observation missions.

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By Adoga Stephen Editor-In-Chief
Stephen studied Mass Communication at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu (now Lagos State University of Science and Technology), where he acquired requisite training for the practice of journalism. He loves the media, and his interest mostly lies in print medium, where his creative writing skill makes him a perfect fit.