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Emefiele “Ways and Means” Reveals Financial Misappropriation in CBN

Emefiele "Ways and Means" Reveals Financial Misappropriation in CBN
Image Credit: Ehud Kaduna

A five-month investigation led by Jim Obazee, CBN Special Investigator appointed by the President of Nigeria, into investigating former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has revealed financial misappropriation uncovering N22.7 trillion of public funds kept in foreign offshore accounts without authorization by the Board and Investment Committee of the bank. In his “Ways and Means” to breaking section 19 of the CBN Act, Emefiele and his then Deputy, Mr Folashodun Shonubi, disclosed to have approved the disbursement of N500 billion in the name of “ways and means advance” without the approval of the Former President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Special Investigator probing the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Jim Obazee, reported to have discovered 593 bank accounts located in the United States, United Kingdom, and China in which the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), under Godwin Emefiele, kept Nigerian funds without authorization by the Board and Investment Committee of the bank.

Mr Obazee revealed these in his report, which suggested that Mr Emefiele and at least 13 other people—including his deputy governor—be prosecuted for alleged serious financial offences.

Naira “Redesign” amongst other charges

As many Nigerians suspected, the probing report into the naira redesign before the last general election has revealed that the redesigning of new naira notes in denominations of N1000, N500, and N200 notes were neither recommended by the Board of the CBN nor approved by the then President, Muhammadu Buhari, contrary to the provisions of Section 19 (1) of the CBN Act, 2007.

Mr Obazee said the CBN printed the new N200, N500, and N1000 notes at a total cost of N61.5 billion, out of which it has paid N31.8 billion to the contractor, even though the total value of the new notes in circulation as of August was only N769,562 billion.

With the intention to frustrate the political class into using cash for electoral misconduct, the naira redesign turned out to be a huge, devastating setback for the economy and Nigerians, who suffered an endless queue to transact with cash and transfer. However, the report shows that the immediate past Director of Currency in the CBN, Ahmed Umar, who was under the supervision of Mr Folashodun, wrote a memorandum on 25 August 2022 to the Committee of Governors (CBN) advising the redesign of the currency.

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