Tinubu’s Special Investigative Committee Uncovers Fresh N3Trillion COVID Loans, Anchor Borrowers’ Fund Mismanaged By Ex-Central Bank Gov, Emefiele.
A new finding from President Bola Tinubu’s investigating committee has revealed that former Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, stole N3 trillion from just two projects.
Top sources familiar with the committee’s findings reported that the staggering sum was derived only from COVID loans and the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme Fund.
Tinubu appointed a special investigator to investigate the apex bank in July.
In a letter dated July 28, 2023, the president named the Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, Jim Obazee, as the special investigator.
The President asked Obazee to investigate CBN and key Government Business Entities. The committee only reports to the President.
The President directed Obazee to conduct an investigation into the CBN and important government business entities. The committee reports only to the President.
Obazee’s appointment occurred more than a month after Tinubu removed Emefiele as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Emefiele was arrested and detained by Nigeria’s secret police, the Department of State Services (DSS), shortly after his suspension in June.
According to sources, Obazee’s investigating group discovered that Emefiele stole N3 trillion from the two projects, among other crimes perpetrated as the central bank’s chairman.
“A fresh revelation from the committee set up by Tinubu to look into how Emefiele mismanaged the CBN shows that he practically stole N3 trillion from those two projects alone,” one of the sources said.
In addition, SaharaReporters also exclusively learnt that Obazee’s committee was pushing to have an interim report submitted to President Tinubu soon so that he would understand how grave and massive corruption at the CBN under Emefiele.
“Obazee’s committee is pushing to have an interim report submitted to Tinubu as a way of letting him understand the gravity of Emefiele’s financial crimes and how bad it set Nigeria’s finances back.
“The committee is asking that they should be allowed to submit an interim report so as to stop any attempt by Emefiele and the Attorney General of the Federation’s office to settle his case on the basis of N50 billion refund plea bargain as earlier exposed by SaharaReporters,” one of the sources said.
In his nationwide broadcast on Sunday morning as part of the programme of events to mark Nigeria’s 63rd Independence anniversary celebration, President Tinubu confirmed that findings on past lapses in the apex bank would soon be out.
In his address, Tinubu said, “I pledged a thorough housecleaning of the den of malfeasance the CBN had become. That housecleaning is well underway.”
“A new leadership for the Central Bank has been constituted. Also, my special investigator will soon present his findings on past lapses and how to prevent similar reoccurrences,” he added.
On Friday, SaharaReporters exclusively reported that Emefiele was set to be released from detention by the Department of State Services (DSS) after his plea bargain with President Tinubu’s administration had been concluded.
However, the AGF and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, refuted any non-prosecution agreement with Emefiele on Sunday.
Emefiele and several of his friends were scheduled to be tried in August at the Federal Capital Territory High Court for N6.9 billion procurement fraud, but the hearing had been postponed.
Reports revealed that, Emefiele’s non-prosecution plea deal was based on the former governor’s readiness to refund N50 billion that he had earned through corruption.
It was gathered that, Fagbemi signed the non-prosecution plea bargain, which was awaiting Tinubu’s approval.
According to reports, Emefiele was charged by the Nigerian government with 20 counts of conspiracy and procurement fraud in August.
The Nigerian government had previously filed two counts against Emefiele, alleging illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, but the charges were ultimately dropped.
The DSS accused Emefiele of damaging the economy, supporting terrorism, and other economic crimes, according to reports.
Also,top government sources said that the inquiry tied Emefiele to a well-known terror financier, through whom the top bank governor had transferred monies for further distribution to controversial Islamic preacher Sheikh Ahmad Gumi.
Gumi is well-known for socialising with terrorists and bandits and lobbying for their amnesty.
In 2022, one of Gumi’s associates, Tukur Mamu, was arrested and detained by Interpol at Cairo International Airport in Egypt while awaiting a connecting flight to Saudi Arabia. Upon his return to Nigeria, he was arrested by the DSS over allegations that he was heading to Saudi Arabia to meet with some international terrorists.
Meanwhile, the secret police said their preliminary investigation revealed various acts of terrorism financing, fraudulent activities perpetrated by Emefiele and his involvement in economic crimes of national security dimension including mismanaging the CBN subsidiary, NISRAL, and the apex bank’s Anchor Borrowers Programme.
The secret police also accused Emefiele of “fraud, money laundering, round tripping and conferment of financial benefit to self and others.”