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Former Central Bank Governor Emefiele Mismanaged N1.6 Trillion COVID-19 Intervention Funds – Special Investigator

Areport by Jim Obazee, the special investigator appointed by President Bola Tinubu to probe the management of the Central Bank of Nigeria has detailed how the apex bank under former Governor Godwin Emefiele mismanaged about N1.622 trillion COVID-19 intervention funds with unauthorized transfers to and donations to different individuals and organisations.

SaharaReporters reported earlier that the former CBN Governor Emefiele who is currently facing six counts bordering on alleged N1.6 billion procurement fraud before an Abuja Federal High Court, embarked on the redesign of the ill-fated new naira notes without the approval of the Board of CBN.

However, apart from the mismanagement of COVID-19 intervention funds, the Special Investigator’s findings revealed how the former CBN governor manipulated the directive of former President Goodluck Jonathan on the establishment of the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry, NESI Stabilization Strategy Limited.

According to the report, former President Jonathan had approved the formation of the entity as a Special Purpose Vehicle, SPV limited by Guarantee.

But in contrast, Emefiele in disobedient incorporated the entity as a company limited by shares, thus enabling it to issue debentures, despite being a virgin entity. 

Thus, the former CBN Governor laid the ground for the issuance of over N64 billion debenture issuance by the company approved by the Committee of Governors of CBN at its meeting of January 21, 2015 against stipulations of a violation of Section 31 of the CBN Act, 2007.

A total of N952 billion was diverted from the vaults of the CBN under this guise as of the financial year end of 2021, the Special Investigator report indicated. 

According to the report, while N1.325 billion was diverted to four companies pre-incorporation of the firm, 14 banks were involved in the fraudulent diversion of over N17 billion of the Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilization Facility.

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