Emefiele Operated Separate $47bn Foreign Reserve Account , 527 Others Without FG’s Knowledge – Report
Suspended Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele has unilaterally been operating a separate foreign reserve account on behalf of the country without the knowledge of the Federal Government, a security report has revealed.
Emefiele, according to the report, masterminded the creation of two foreign reserve accounts for Nigeria with the second one the Federal Government is not aware of, having about $47billion.
CBN under Emefiele, the report further revealed, has also been running no fewer than 527 private bank accounts with public monies running to several billions stashed in them without the government being in the know.
These allegations, amongst several others against Emefiele, are contained in a security report submitted by the Department of State Services to former president Muhammadu Buhari since January this year.
The security report was sighted by our correspondent over the weekend.
The report handed over to former President Buhari by the DSS Director General, Yusuf Bichi, in January, it was learnt, contains more damning evidence against the suspended apex bank boss over a series of some fresh allegations.
The submission of the security report to the then President, First News had reported, necessitated Emefiele’s visits twice on Thursday January 19, 2023 to the Aso Rock Presidential Villa. The then CBN governor, First News had reported, was summoned by the then President Buhari following his receipt of the DSS security report on the fresh allegations and “overwhelming evidence” against the apex bank boss earlier that day from the DSS DG.
Emefiele had earlier that same day visited the Presidential Villa as part of the delegation of the Arab Bank for Economic Development led by its Director General, Dr Sidi Ould Tah.
But Emefiele’s second meeting that same day with Buhari was held behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa, where he was confronted with the fresh allegations leveled against him by the DSS. At the end of his closed door meeting with the then President Buhari, Emefiele declined to comment on the issues discussed when approached by State House correspondents.
Earlier, the DSS had accused Emefiele of aiding and abetting terrorism, insisting that the then CBN Gov must be prosecuted for the alleged crimes.
According to the report, DSS’ preliminary investigations revealed Emefiele’s involvement in various acts of terrorism financing, fraudulent activities and economic crimes of national security dimension.
But the already embattled Emefiele continued to employ all means to escape arrest and interrogation by the DSS. He even had to delay his return to Nigeria after a trip abroad. He was also said to have engaged some close associates of the then President Buhari to help him prevail on the DSS to let him off the hook. He was also alleged to have been employing propaganda through organised public protests and demonstrations by CSOs, all in a bid to stop his investigations by the DSS.
A nephew and close confidant of the then President Buhari, Mamman Daura and the then Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai were said to be the arrowheads of the highly influential and powerful politicians pressuring the DSS DG, Yusuf Bichi to let go of Emefiele, resulting in the inability of the secret police to interrogate the apex bank boss on the allegations leveled against him while Buhari’s tenure lasted.
First News, however, learnt that unknown to Emefiele, while he was out of the country, the DSS had interrogated and obtained documentary evidence from his deputies at the apex bank, external auditors to the bank and managing directors of 27 commercial banks regarding the monumental allegations of corruption and fraud being levelled against him by the secret police regarding forex allocations and other corruption allegations.
It was in the course of these widened investigations that the DSS unearthed 12 fresh allegations against the CBN Gov, First News reported.
It was gathered that during interrogation, the CBN external auditors, who have been working for the apex bank in the past six years, “gave evidence under caution” to DSS interrogators and provided documents to back their claim that Emefiele paid them to prepare “doctored audit reports” which the Federal Government under Buhari was inadvertently relying upon.
It was also learnt that during investigations, the DSS discovered that the controversial Ways and Means approval requested by the Finance Minister was actually in the region of N23.7trillion as against the N7.3trn presented to the National Assembly.
Some of the new allegations Emefiele was then being investigated for by the DSS include the N3.6bn COVID-19 palliative funds given Nigeria by the IMF two years ago to cushion the effects of the pandemic.
Emefiele, it was learnt did not inform the Federal Government about the IMF palliative but only allegedly diverted the money into a private account in China.
The demand for acknowledgement letter by the IMF from the Finance Minister let the cat out of Emefiele’s bag. The CBN Gov was however said to have told the then Finance Minister that he invested the money for the country.
The then Finance Minister on her part, was said to have demanded for about $700m out of the IMF palliative to enable her Ministry to “offset staff salary.”
The remaining $3billion, it was gathered, is still being kept in a bank in China without the Federal Government being aware of this development.
Also, the much-vaunted Single Treasury Account (TSA), it was learnt, has been discovered by the DSS to be a phantom device by Emefiele to deceive the Federal Government and all Nigerians. “There’s nothing like TSA account. Only Emefiele knows what he means by this,” a source said.
The DSS, it was further gathered, while grilling bank chief executives in January, also unearthed an allegation that the CBN boss directed all commercial banks’ managing directors to give him N30bn each every year as his own “pocket money.” Only a newly established bank (names withheld) allegedly paid Emefiele the least sum of N5bn. The bank MDs involved, it was learnt, wrote statements and provided the DSS with documentary evidence.
This was part of the reasons Emefiele, on January 18, 2023, through a CSO, approached an Abuja High Court presided over by Justice Belgore to obtain an interim injunction to restrain the DSS from obtaining information from the CBN and the commercial banks regarding forex allocations in the past six years.
But unknown to Emefiele, the DSS had already obtained a comprehensive list of all those involved in the forex distribution deal, including some highly placed Presidency officials and which was included in the security report on the CBN boss submitted to former President Buhari.
This security report, which former President Buhari refused to act upon, it was learnt, was recently dusted by the DSS and re-submitted to the President Bola Tinubu-led administration, which last Friday night suspended Emefiele from the office of the CBN governor and subsequently appointed an acting governor in his stead.
This action by President Tinubu against Emefiele gave the DSS the needed clearance and the green light to move in and arrest the suspended CBN governor on Friday night in his Lagos home, flying him to Abuja, where he’s currently being detained to answer questions on the various allegations leveled against him.