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How Boss Mustapha, Emefiele were captured on CCTV dragging $6.2m cash from CBN vault 2 weeks to 2023 poll

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Mr Jim Obazee, the special investigator appointed by President Bola Tinubu to probe the Central Bank of Nigeria, has reported back with some recommended charges for some senior officials of former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration over their unscrupulous role in the looting of public coffers.

Tinubu had in July appointed Obazee, a former Executive Secretary of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria to look into the activities of the apex bank in the past years.

Jim Obazee said President Bola Tinubu should sanction the prosecution of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele for their roles in the removal of $6.23 million cash from the bank’s vault in Abuja.

The theft said to have taken place on February 8, 2023, ahead of the February 25 presidential election, was listed among the alleged diversion of public fund linked to Mr Emefiele and other officials who served in the past administration.

While recounting the economic sabotage to Mr Tinubu in it’s report dated December 20, 2023, Mr Obazee said it was around February 7-8, 2023, that his investigators discovered that “$6.23 million was unlawfully removed from the vault cash from the foreign payments office, Abuja branch, of the Central Bank of Nigeria.”

“The physical acts of unlawful removal of this amount were captured on the CCTV footage and preserved,” Obazee said.

He said efforts to steal the cash started in January 26 when Mr Mustapha sent a memo to Mr Emefiele requesting $6.23 million in cash.

The memo itself followed a previous one dated January 23 from Mr Buhari to Mr Mustapha, which carried the header: “Presidential Directive on Foreign Election Observer Missions.”

The investigator noted that the unreported transaction was part of elaborate conspiracy to conceal wrongdoing by the previous government at the CBN.

“A fraudulent cash withdrawal of $6.23 million perpetrated since February 8, 2023, was not discovered nor taken seriously until December 4, 2023, when a request for information was issued by the officer of the special investigator,” Mr Obazee said, adding that there was “an appearance of concealment” by CBN directors and departmental heads, including Ogbu Onyeka, Samuel Chukwuyem Okojere, Elizabeth Fasoranti,

Mr Obazee said Mustapha, Emefiele and those listed above, among others, should be charged for forgery, concealment, stealing, conspiracy and fraud.

 

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