***asks for probe into weighty allegations on terrorism financing, corruption
Coalition for Transparency and Economic Reforms (COTER) comprising of 259 anti-corruption, civil society and human rights groups spread across the country has written to President Muhammadu Buhari asking him to immediately relieve him of the position as CBN governor over over weighty allegations on terrorism financing, corruptiont
Emiefiele had been in the eye of the storm at the outset of the Presidential Primaries when he came under barrage of attacks for purchasing the ruling Party, (APC) Presidential nomination form to contest for presidency.
He had also been dragged over alleged terrorism financing, corruption and sundry other issues which seemed to have died down until the renewed hostility by the Coalition on Wednesday
In a letter which was addressed to the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, jointly signed by the Coalition President and general secretary Dr Peter Chima Chukwu and Mallam Auta Ibrahim respectively, the Coalition drew his attention to a petition it had earlier sent to the office of the President Muhammadu Buhari on the damning allegations against the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele.
A copy of their petition which was attached to the letter addressed to Lawan, reads,
“Mr President, COTER will therefore like to use this medium to demand your immediate action against the perennial and persistent fraudulent activities of Mr Emefiele, in cahoots with some other Nigerians, in siphoning the public money in the custody of the CBN under various phoney headings, especially since 2015 when your administration came into office.
“The unabashed corrupt stance of the CBN Governor and his cohorts leaves very bad taste in the mouth!
“It is public knowledge that Emefiele began to perpetrate these monumental frauds immediately he got into office and only became more daring and unperturbed under your administration.
“It is a well-known fact that the CBN Governor has been colluding with some corrupt individuals to move huge public funds from the apex bank’s into personal accounts without the knowledge of the Federal Government.
“We are aware that according to the various security reports before you, Emefiele has siphoned hundreds of trillions of Naira under your watch from the CBN using various guises since 2015. Mr President, this is highly scandalous!
“Sir, it will shock you to understand that these monumental frauds being perpetrated at the CBN are the reasons for the various harsh and anti-people monetary policies being foisted on Nigerians by Emefiele and his cohorts.
“These inhuman monetary policies are kegs of gunpowder being heated and the results of which will be nothing but renewed agitations, perennial restiveness, wanton violence and needless destruction as well as the general insecurity and social maladies that your administration has been battling with since 2015.
“Mr President, sir, the disgrace the CBN has brought upon the person of Your Excellency, your administration and the entire Federal Government, going by the Supreme Court’s recent pronouncement on Emefiele’s controversial new monetary policy, cannot be imagined!
“The reversal of the CBN policy by the apex court, after Emefiele had subjected all Nigerians to excruciating pains and sufferings, has no doubt detracted so much from the laudable achievements already recorded by your administration in the past seven years.
“Your Excellency, that your administration has exercised serious caution and restraints regarding taking action over the monumental damning allegations of corruption against the CBN Governor is confounding!
“But now that the elections are over and your administration is less encumbered, COTER humbly requests Your Excellency to immediately look into the various security reports on Emefiele and act on them to save your hard-earned reputation as an incorruptible leader popular for waging consistent war against corruption and graft.
“You are already aware of some of the damning allegations of terrorism financing and corruption that the Department of State Services (DSS) has been investigating Emefiele for.
“These allegations, which are already in public domain, are also contained in the reports the security agencies have already submitted to your office and also contained in court records.
“According to these report, Your Excellency, preliminary investigations have revealed Emefiele’s involvement in various acts of terrorism financing, fraudulent activities and economic crimes of national security dimension.
“But it will interest Your Excellency to learn that the CBN Governor has continued to employ all means to escape arrest and interrogation by the DSS. For example, Mr. Emefiele recently delayed his return to Nigeria after a trip abroad.
“He also engaged some highly placed persons in the Presidential Villa to help him to prevail on the DSS to let him off the hook.
“The CBN governor has also been employing propaganda through sponsored organised public protests and demonstrations by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), all in a bid to stop his investigations and prosecution by the DSS.
The group alleged further that some of
President Buhari’s close confidants and associates were alleged 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.
“Your Excellency, unknown to the CBN Governor, while he was out of the country recently, we are aware that the DSS interrogated and obtained documentary evidence against him (Emefiele) from some CBN directors and commercial banks’ Managing Directors/CEOs.
“It was in the course of these widened investigations that the DSS unearthed 12 fresh allegations against the CBN Governor; which are also obtainable in the public domain.
“Mr President, sir, it is contained in the reports already on your table that during interrogation, CBN external auditors, who have been working for the apex bank in the past six years, “gave evidence under caution” and provided documents to back their claim that Emefiele paid them to prepare “doctored audit reports” which the Federal Government has inadvertently been relying upon in the past six years. Your Excellency, according to the reports, the CBN under Emefiele has been issuing fraudulent Financial Statements since 2015 that you were elected the President. “Not only that, Your Excellency, Emefiele has also been misleading CBN Board members on the true financial position of the apex bank and its implication for the Nigerian economy. Mr President urgent and drastic action must be taken against the CBN governor so that your administration does not leave office in disgrace and shame in the next few weeks.
“Your Excellency, we are aware that the DSS reports on Emefiele also revealed that all the financial figures Nigeria, through the CBN, has been transmitting to the IMF, World Bank, DFID and other global financial organisations, have been discovered to be cooked up, misleading and unreliable.
“Infact, international report on Nigeria stated that some major international financial institutions have continued to express serious concerns at the crass recklessness of the CBN Governor.
Your Excellency, it will also interest you to know that Emefiele decided to sack the leadership of some Nigerian commercial banks on the eve of the recent presidential election held on February 25, 2023, but the circular sacking the bank CEOs was signed by the CBN Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Chibuzo A. Efobi, rather than the apex bank boss himself. “There is no more to this sir! This particular circular, sir, did not make any reference to any CBN Board meeting where the matter was deliberated upon before taking the decision to sack the bank chiefs.
“Mr President, sir, there are extant laws that deal with Corporate Governance in Nigeria to which CBN must adhere to. This has been violated by Emefiele.
“Sir, this CBN circular on the sacking of bank CEOs is inconsistent with the laws. Your Excellency, sir, Emefiele has been operating as if he is the president of a separate country within Nigeria. Or did you direct the CBN governor to order the bank chiefs to resign their positions?
“For your information, these same bank CEOs are the ones keeping stolen funds for Emefiele. The reality is that the CBN governor wants them to leave so that it will look as if nothing has happened between them.
“”I these bank CEOs resign now as being ordered by Emefiele, they will run away abroad with the funds looted from the CBN treasury and it will be very difficult to get them back into the country to answer for their atrocities. Therefore, no bank MD/CEO or Chairman or Director should be allowed to resign from office now!
“The security agencies have been constrained to take the appropriate steps to investigate Emefiele because of his claim to having secured a Presidential Order directing CBN officials not to honour any invitation by the DSS because of an existing court injunction barring the security agency in particular from questioning him.
“This claim by Emefiele has forced the security agency to stop the investigation of the apex bank boss. Your Excellency, this anomaly must be corrected now to avoid a situation where the incoming administration will heap the blame for the heist perpetrated by Emefiele and for allowing him to go scot-free on you and your government.
“The credibility of your person and administration will be called to question by the time the incoming administration has access to the documents detailing the heinous financial atrocities currently being perpetrated at the CBN by Emefiele and his cohorts.
“We are aware that during investigations, it was discovered that the controversial Ways and Means approval requested by the Finance Minister was not the N23.7trillion presented to the National Assembly.
“Your Excellency, Ways and Means figures presented by Emefiele to the National Assembly for approval late last year is fraudulent as it is incorrect.
“The Federal Government never bothered to scrutinise the over-inflated figures. Mr President, in the past six years, Emefiele has consistently been breaking the law by exceeding his Ways and Means limits. Mr President, the question is who gave Emefiele the approval to break the law? This question is urgently begging for an answer from you, sir.
“We are aware that the reports on your table have also indicated that some of the new allegations Emefiele is being investigated for by the DSS include the $3.6m COVID-19 palliative funds given to Nigeria by the IMF two years ago to cushion the effects of the pandemic.
“Sir, on the diverted $3.6m IMF COVID-19 palliatives, the world financial body wrote the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation last week to inform them that they are sending an audit and forensic team to the country to investigate how the money was spent by Your Excellency’s administration.”