CBN Probe uncovers how $6.3m was looted from CBN by Ex SGF Boss Mustapha days before 2023 election for Election Observers
-Obazee recommends trial of Boss Mustapha and 12 top CBN Executives
Mr Jim Obazee, the Special Investigator appointed by President Bola Tinubu to probe the management of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, under the leadership of Godwin Emefiele has recommended the trial of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and 12 top executives of the bank for trial over fraudulent withdrawal of $6.23milion from the apex bank to allegedly pay foreign election observers.
According to the Special Investigator, $6.3 million was allegedly removed from the vaults of Foreign Payments Office, Abuja Branch, of the CBN as captured on CCTV between 7th February and 8th February 2023.
The Special Investigator said he viewed the CCTV footage of the removal of the cash done about two weeks to the 2023 presidential election purportedly on the order of a letter dated 23rd January, 2023, with a signature mark, ‘Muhammadu Buhari’, which was sent to a government official with caption, ‘ Presidential Directive on Foreign Election Observer Missions’
This, the Investigator said was followed by another letter dated 26th January, 2023, with signature mark, directed to’ Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria’, for payment of the sum of $6.23million as ‘ a contingent logistics advance… in line with Presidential directive and another follow-up letter dated 31st January, 2023, was sent to the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, requesting for approval to effect payment of the sum of $6.23m.
The Special Investigator said the fraudulent withdrawal was uncovered on the 4th of December, when he issued a Request for Information to the management of the CBN.
He accused the former SGF, and the top government officials of engaging in “forgery, concealment, conspiracy and fraud” over withdrawal of the funds.
According to the Special Investigator, an official of the CBN admitted in a written statement that he “acted in collaboration with, an Assistant Director in the Banking supervision Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria and some persons he is yet to identify, to conceive and carry out the act of stealing the sum of $6.23million out of the vault of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He said two top CBN officials are already in custody over the incident.
“There is therefore an appearance of concealment by officers who occupied some positions up to, and around the period 7 and 8th February, 2023.”
Mr Obazee asked the government to prosecute directors, Deputy Directors, Assistant Director and Branch Controllers over the fraudulent cash withdrawal.