Emefiele denies CBN corruption charges, slams private investigator

Alade Abayomi ADeleke
Alade Abayomi ADeleke

The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has dismissed the allegations of corruption and theft levelled against him by a special investigation panel on CBN and other entities.


The panel, headed by a private investigator, Jim Obazee, submitted its report to President Bola Tinubu after probing the CBN’s activities under Emefiele for six months.


The report accused Emefiele and other senior CBN officials of committing various acts of corruption and theft in the bank, such as approving the naira redesign policy without presidential approval and withdrawing $6.23 million from the CBN vault.


Emefiele, who was released from the Kuje correctional facility last Saturday after spending a month there for procurement fraud, rejected the panel’s findings as “false, misleading, and calculated to disparage” his character.


He said he had the presidential approval for the naira redesign and showed it to Obazee during his investigation.


He also challenged Obazee to publish the alleged forged presidential directive and his statements denying knowledge of it.


He said, “I have gone through the publications, and I say boldly that the contents of the said publications are false, misleading, and calculated to disparage my person, injure my character, and serve the selfish interest of the private investigator.


“I have been advised by my lawyers not to say anything in respect of the matters which have been submitted to the court for adjudication. However, I need to address some of the issues raised in the publication which are barefaced lies told by the investigator in order to achieve his satanic agenda.


“First, it was reported that, contrary to the provision of the CBN Act 2007, there was no presidential approval for the Naira redesign.


“I wish to state unequivocally that there was indeed a presidential approval, and the said approval was handed over to the same Jim Obazee during the process of his investigation in the presence of senior CBN officials and his investigative team.


“Moreover, the former President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR has stated on a number of occasions that he authorised and approved the Naira redesign.


“I am therefore at a loss as to why Mr. Jim Obazee will mislead Nigerians that there was no presidential approval.


“The report also claimed that the sum of 6.23 million dollars was withdrawn from the CBN vault based on a false presidential directive bearing the signature of the former president Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, and that of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha.


“About two weeks ago, Jim Obazee in the company of a certain Deputy Commissioner of Police from Force CID came to Kuje to ask me questions in respect of the said document in the presence of my lawyers.


“I stated verbally and in writing that I have no knowledge of such a directive from the former president and the former SGF. In fact, I told them that that was the first time I would be seeing the documents. On this, I challenge Jim Obazee to publish the said documents and also the statements that I made to them.”


Reacting to claims of illegally keeping billions of naira in 593 bank accounts in the United States, United Kingdom, and China, the regulator’s ex-governor said he has “no knowledge” of such accounts


“The final issue that I would like to respond to is the issue of the 593 accounts which were purportedly opened in different parts of the world. I state categorically that I am not involved in the opening of these accounts and I do not have knowledge of their openings.


“The fixed deposits in those foreign accounts are definitely outside my knowledge. However, let me state clearly that the relevant departments of the CBN have the authority to carry out such activities in line with their lawful mandate within the CBN,” he stated.


Emefiele, therefore, called for a “thorough and transparent investigation of all alleged frauds”.


He also announced his intention to pursue legal action against the report and its publications for defamation.

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