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Emefiele operated 593 illegal US, UK, China accounts – CBN investigator

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The special investigator on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and related entities, Mr. Jim Obazee says the apex bank’s ex-governor, Godwin Emefiele, illegally kept billions of naira in 593 bank accounts in the United States, United Kingdom, and China.

Obazee also said Emefiele lodged £543,482,213 in fixed deposits in UK banks alone without the approval of the apex bank’s board of directors and the investment committee.

Submitting his final report, tagged, ‘Report of the Special Investigation on CBN and Related Entities (Chargeable Offences) to President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday, Obazee said all the accounts have been traced.

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

“All the accounts where the billions were lodged have all been traced by the investigator.”

According to the special investigator, billions of naira were allegedly stolen by Emefiele and other officials from the CBN’s accounts including a “fraudulent cash withdrawal of $6.23 million” — about N2.9 billion at the then official exchange rate of N461 to a dollar.

He also accused Emefiele of manipulating the exchange rate and perpetrating fraud in the e-Naira project of the CBN.

Emefiele, who is currently in the Kuje correctional facility Centre, was arraigned on a six-count charge bordering on procurement fraud valued at N1.2 billion.

He has not been able to meet the N300 million bail granted him by a high court of the federal capital territory on November 22.

Tinubu, had on July 30, 2023, appointed Obazee, as a special investigator to probe the activities of CBN and other related entities.

In a letter dated July 28, 2023, the president asked Obazee to commence work immediately and report directly to his office.

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