Special Investigator Alleges Emefiele Opened 593 Foreign Accounts Without Approval

A Special Investigator appointed by President Bola Tinubu has reportedly accused former CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele of opening 593 foreign bank accounts without approval from President Muhammadu Buhari or the CBN’s board of directors. 
Documents obtained by Daily Trust revealed that these accounts are held in different banks in the United Kingdom (UK), United States (USA) and China.
Although the findings are yet to be officially disclosed, they are part of a report submitted to President Tinubu on Wednesday December 20, 2023.
Recall Emefiele was suspended on June 9, 2023, by Tinubu, and was thereafter picked by security operatives and remains in custody, while the investigator recommended prosecuting top CBN officials and external parties for various offenses.
And on July 30, the president named the Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, Jim Obazee, as the special investigator of the CBN.
In the letter dated July 28, 2023, the president asked Obazee to investigate CBN and key government business entities, adding that the investigator would report directly to the president’s office.
The letter read, “In accordance with the fundamental objective set forth in Section 15(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), this administration is, today, continuing (with) the fight against corruption by appointing you as a Special Investigator, to investigate the CBN and Related Entities. This appointment shall be with immediate effect and you are to report directly to my office.”
The documents seen by our reporter yesterday indicated that two reports have been submitted to President Tinubu so far, with the latest one dated December 20, detailing chargeable offences committed by Emefiele and others.
In addition to the ousted CBN governor, the document also recommended prosecuting some top officials of the CBN who worked with Emefiele, and others from outside the apex bank, for various offences.
The illegal foreign accounts
One of the documents seen by our reporter stated that Emefiele had allegedly invested Nigeria’s money in 593 foreign accounts without authorisation.
“All the accounts where the billions were lodged have been traced by the investigator,” it said.
“In the UK alone, Emefiele kept £543, 482,213 in fixed deposits, without authorisation by the CBN board and the investment committee of the bank.
“The investigator has recommended Emefiele for trial over the illegal lodgements and also utilising the funds for what they were not meant…”
It said various amounts running into billions of US dollars and Chinese Yuan were also allegedly traced to the accounts opened by Emefiele.
Before the latest findings, our correspondent reports that on July 25, Emefiele was arraigned on a two-count charge bordering on “illegal possession” of firearms and was granted bail in the sum of N20 million.
In 2022, the Department of State Service (DSS) alleged that Emefiele had been financing terrorism, among other allegations.
Some of the allegations against Emefiele came to the surface at a time he was being accused of partisan politics, including purported plan to contest for the presidency on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC).
On November 17, the Federal Capital Territory High Court remanded Emefiele in Kuje prison on the ground of alleged procurement fraud.
The federal government had initially preferred 20 charges on procurement fraud to the tune of N6.5bn against the former CBN governor, but the charges were reduced to six to the tune of over N1bn before he was arraigned.
Through his lawyers, the former CBN governor had on all occasions denied the allegations levelled against him.
Ada Peter
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