A presidential panel investigating the activities of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the tenure of former Governor Godwin Emefiele has uncovered unauthorised investments of Nigeria’s funds in 593 foreign bank accounts across the United States, China and the United Kingdom.
This was part of the final report that the special investigator appointed by President Bola Tinubu in July, Jim Obazee, submitted on Wednesday, Dec. 20.
In the report tagged, ‘Report of the Special Investigation on CBN and Related Entities (Chargeable offences)’ Obaze found that Emefiele lodged £543, 482,213 in fixed deposits in UK banks alone without authorisation.
The report partly read,
“The former governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele invested Nigeria’s money without authorization in 593 foreign bank accounts in United States, China and United Kingdom, while he was in charge.
“All the accounts where the billions were lodged have all been traced by the investigator.”
In the report, Obaze also recommended that Emefiele, along with some top management team members, should face trial for the alleged illegal transactions and the purported misappropriation of funds for unauthorised purposes.
Emefiele could be prosecuted for illegal issuance of currency under section 19 of the CBN Act alongside Tunde Sabiu, a former aide to former President Muhammadu Buhari, and 12 top directors of the CBN.
It was gathered that the naira redesign policy was sold to Buhari at the instance of Sabiu and that the initiative was done without the approval of the board of the CBN.
The investigator found that Buhari didn’t approve of the naira redesign. It was Tunde Sabiu who first told Emefiele in September 2022 to consider the redesign of the naira. On October 6, 2022, Emefiele wrote to Buhari that he wanted to redesign and reconfigure N1000, N500 and N200 notes.