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Emefiele corruption scandal: senior officials implicated in $6.2M misappropriation



BREAKING: Emefiele granted N20 Million bail

Reports indicate that a windfall of $6.2 million allegedly enriched members of the Presidency, former cabinet members, and senior officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele, allegedly distributed this amount to a few politically exposed persons (PEPs).

The money was purportedly taken out of the CBN vault to pay for foreign observers for the 2023 general elections.

According to sources cited by Economic Confidential, many recipients were compelled to return their portion of the funds after the current administration investigated the matter.

The alleged revelation of corruption sparked intense debate, with calls for the dissolution of the Special Investigation Committee, which implicated Emefiele.

Another individual familiar with the situation told Economic Confidential that the committee’s chairman, Jim Obazee, may face penalties for his tough stance on the issue.

According to allegations, powerful individuals asked the President to fire Obazee and dissolve the committee after its findings, which were said to have harmed their interests.

“Obazee has stepped on powerful toes, and the pressure on the President to remove him or even dissolve the committee is serious. Some people even believe he has completed his task and there is no need to retain him.

Both the President and Obazee have refused to budge under pressure as they want to go deeper into the CBN rot. I have no idea how long the duo will hold on,” said a source familiar with the matter.

President Tinubu formed the committee and selected Obazee as chairman as part of his efforts to strengthen government business entities (GBEs).

Since President Bola Ahmed Tinubu suspended him last year, Emefiele has faced several lawsuits in several courts alleging abuse of authority, misappropriation, round-tripping, and other charges.

Onyeka Ogbu, a Deputy Director of Branch Operations at the Bank, recently testified against Emefiele in the FCT High Court. She claims that the accused obtained the consent of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari and ex-SGF Boss Mustapha for the payment of $6,230,000 “to international election observers.”

The witness stated whether the money had been released: “Payment was eventually made. The $6,230,000 was paid on February 8th, 2023. “The payment was in cash.”

However, the EFCC claims that Emefiele falsified General Buhari’s signature and did not obtain the former president’s approval for the transaction.

President Tinubu suspended Emefiele on June 9, 2023, and launched an investigation into his time as CBN governor.

On January 18, the federal government modified the criminal accusations brought against the former CBN governor, and the costs doubled from six to twenty.

The amended charges include alleged criminal breach of trust, forgery, conspiracy to forge, procurement fraud, and conspiracy to commit a felony.

The EFCC accused Emefiele of forging a paper headed “RE: PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE ON FOREIGN ELECTION OBSERVER MISSIONS,” dated January 26, 2023, with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/201.

According to the EFCC, Emefiele claimed knowing it was false, committing an offence under Section 1(1) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, which is punished under Section 1(3) of the same Act.

On February 8, 2023, Emefiele conspired with Odoh Ocheme, who is now on the run, to acquire $6.2 million from the CBN, saying that the SGF requested it “via a letter dated January 26, 2023, with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/201.” (CR/577/2023)

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