CBN: Obazee’s report false, misleading — Emefiele
Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has denied allegations slammed against him by Jim Obazee, the Special Investigator appointed by President Bola Tinubu to look into the operations of the apex bank in the past.
Tinubu had in July appointed Obazee, a former Executive Secretary of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria to look into the activities of the CBN after Emefiele and his associates were accused of embezzling billions of naira and engaging in various sharp practices.
NewsBand quoting a report by the Special investigator reported that Boss Mustapha, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Godwin Emefiele were indicted in a $6.23 million heist.
Boss Mustapha and Godwin Emefiele, according to Obazee approved the removal of the cash from the bank’s vault under the guise of funding foreign election observer missions.
He claimed CCTV footage captured moment the money was moved out of the apex bank.
But Emefiele has described the allegations against him as false, misleading and calculated to disparage and injure his character.
He added that the allegations were solely designed to serve the selfish interest of the private investigator.
Part of the statement reads, “After my release on bail from the correctional centre, Kuje, my attention was drawn to publications released by the Punch Newspaper and Premium Times online news platforms. The sources of the information published by both media houses were credited to a certain report prepared by Mr. Jim Obazee, who was appointed by the president as a private investigator.
“I have gone through the publications, and I say boldly that the contents of the said publications are false, misleading and calculated to disparage my person, injure my character and to serve the selfish interest of the private investigator.
“Because of my present situation, I have been advised by my lawyers not to say anything in respect of the matters that have been submitted to the court for adjudication. However, I need to address some of the issues raised in the publication, which are barefaced lies told by the investigator in order to achieve his satanic agenda
“First, it was reported that, contrary to the provision of the CBN Act 2007, there was no presidential approval for the Naira redesign. I wish to state unequivocally that there was indeed a presidential approval, and the said approval was handed over to the same Jim Obazee during the process of his investigation in the presence of senior CBN officials and his own investigative team. Moreover, the former President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR has stated on a number of occasions that he authorised and approved the Naira redesign. I am therefore at a loss as to why Mr. Jim Obazee will mislead Nigerians that there was no presidential approval.
“The report also claimed that the sum of 6.23 million dollars was withdrawn from the CBN vault based on a false presidential directive bearing the signature of the former president Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, and that of the former secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha. About two weeks ago, Jim Obazee, in the company of a certain Deputy Commissioner of Police from Force CID, came to Kuje to ask me questions in respect of the said document in the presence of my lawyers. I stated verbally and in writing that I have no knowledge of such a directive from the former president and the former SGF. In fact, I told them that that was the first time I would be seeing the documents. On this, I challenge Jim Obazee to publish the said documents and also the statements that I made to them.
“The final issue that I would like to respond to is the issue of the 593 accounts, which were purportedly opened in different parts of the world. I state categorically that I am not involved in the opening of these accounts, and I do not have knowledge of their openings. The fixed deposits in those foreign accounts are definitely outside my knowledge. However, let me state clearly that the relevant departments of the CBN have the authority to carry out such activities in line with their lawful mandate within the CBN. I, therefore, join well-meaning Nigerians who have spoken on this matter and have demanded a thorough and transparent investigation of all these alleged frauds. Meanwhile, I have instructed my lawyers to immediately commence the legal process to clear my name from the defamatory statements contained in the report and by extension the publications.”