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Nigeria’s Ex-Central Bank Gov, Emefiele Lodged £543Million In Fixed Deposits In UK Banks, Illegally Kept Billions Of Naira In US, Chinese, Other Banks

Areport of the Special Investigator on management of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), under Godwin Emefiele has revealed how he lodged £543,482,213 in fixed deposits in United Kingdom banks alone without authorisation.

The Special Investigator on the CBN and Related Entities, Jim Obazee in the report revealed that Emefiele also illegally lodged billions of naira in no fewer than 593 bank accounts in the United States, and China including the United Kingdom without the approval of the apex bank’s board of directors and the CBN Investment Committee.

The revelations contained Obazee's final report tagged, ‘Report of the Special Investigation on CBN and Related Entities (Chargeable offences) submitted to President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday.

SaharaReporters had reported that President Tinubu had in a letter dated July 28, 2023, named Obazee, a former Executive Secretary of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, as the CBN special investigator.

Emefiele, who is currently in Kuje Custodial Centre, is being prosecuted on six counts bordering on fraud.

He has not been able to perfect the N300 million bail granted him by a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory on November 22.

According to the report, “The former governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele invested Nigeria’s money without authorization in 593 foreign bank accounts in United States, China and United Kingdom, while he was in charge."

According to the report, all the “accounts where the billions were lodged have all been traced by the investigator”.

It was earlier reported that Emefiele awarded N61.5 billion for the printing of ill-fated new naira notes to a United Kingdom company, De La Rue in flagrant violation of President Muhammadu Buhari's directive that it should be given to a domestic firm.

The report indicated that the Board of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was not involved in the decision to redesign the new currency notes, adding that the initiative was suggested to former CBN Governor by Buhari's aide, Tunde Sabiu during his visit to the Presidential Villa in September 2022.

Worse still, Emefiele, according to the report left behind a debt of over N30 billion incurred for the printing of the currency as only N31.79 billion of the contract sum had been paid at the time of his leaving the office.

SaharaReporters had reported the President appointed a Special Investigator to probe the apex bank after the suspension of Emefiele as Governor of the CBN on June 9, 2023.

The former CBN was later arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) after he was suspended by President Tinubu.

However, the secret police later handed him over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).  Subsequently, he was arraigned on six counts bordering on alleged N1.6 billion procurement fraud on November 17.

The report of the special investigator submitted to President Tinubu on December 20, 2023, has exposed mismanagement, fraud and arbitrariness in the management of the apex bank with trillions of naira in losses under Emefiele’s leadership.

The report noted that after the idea was sold to Emefiele by Sabiu, he immediately wrote a memo to President Buhari, seeking approval to embark on the redesign of N1000, N500 and N200 notes in October 2022.

The proposal was, however, approved the same day, with the proviso that the new naira notes should be printed locally.

But contrary to the instruction of the President, Emefiele awarded the contract to a UK firm, De La Rue with N61.5 billion incurred by the apex bank as the cost of the printing.

“The former President tagged along but did not approve the redesign as required by law. Buhari merely approved that the currency be printed in Nigeria. The redesign was only mentioned to the board of the CBN on December 15, 2022, after Emefiele had awarded the contract to the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc on October 31, 2022,’’ the documents noted.

Emefiele was said to have contracted the redesign of the naira to De La Rue of the UK for £205,000 pounds under the vote head of the Currency Operations Department after the NSPM said it could not deliver the contract within a short timeframe.

As of August 9, 2023, findings revealed that N769 billion of the new notes were in circulation.

SaharaReporters reported in April that Sabiu ‘Tunde’ Yusuf, the then-personal secretary to President Buhari who is in his 30s, was set to retire with huge retirement benefits from loot said to run into billions of dollars.

And to ensure he enjoyed his loot, SaharaReporters learnt that Tunde Sabiu secured a form of diplomatic immunity from prosecution through his appointment to the National Intelligence Agency, according to sources in the Presidency.

Regarded as one of the wealthiest young men in Nigeria today, Yusuf until his appointment by President Buhari was said to be surviving on proceeds made from the sale of call cards in his native Daura, a sleepy community in Katsina State in the Northern part of the country, which is also the President’s hometown.

He is said to have gotten the name ‘Tunde’ after being likened to the late Tunde Idiagbon, Buhari’s second in command during his military regime in the early 1980s. Idiagbon was seen by many Nigerians as the de facto leader even though Buhari was the head of state. He was known to be powerful and strategic.

Yusuf is the son of Mamman Daura’s immediate younger sister, Hajia Halima, who died in 2018.

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