CBN probe: Tinubu, Cardoso’s anti-corruption drive yielding results — Analyst

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CBN probe: Tinubu, Cardoso’s anti-corruption drive yielding results — Analyst
CBN probe: Tinubu, Cardoso’s anti-corruption drive yielding results — Analyst

Africa-Press – Nigeria. A Lagos-based public affairs analyst and writer, Gbenga Ibrahim has commended President Bola Tinubu and CBN President Yemi Cardoso, for driving change through the ongoing anti-corruption campaign in the country’s apex bank.

Tinubu had announced significant progress in the investigation into the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The probe, led by special investigator Jim Obazee, has uncovered a staggering amount of stolen funds, unauthorised bank accounts, and fraudulent transactions totaling billions of naira.

According to sources, the investigation has implicated former CBN governor Godwin Emefiele, who has been suspended pending further investigation. Emefiele is accused of financial misconduct and abusing his position for personal gain. The probe has revealed a complex web of corruption involving top officials at the CBN and other related entities.

Investigators have discovered numerous unauthorised bank accounts, both within and outside the country, containing billions of naira in stolen funds.

The investigation has also uncovered evidence of fraudulent transactions, including a controversial Naira redesign project that allegedly stifled productivity and led to chaos in October 2022.

The project, according to him, is a conspiracy against the Nigerian people and political class by the then-CBN Governor and one of the erstwhile CBN Deputy Governors.

He also attributed the success to ability of Cardoso leadership to identify capable hands like Bala Bello, an experienced and competent professional.

“Though I have never met the Governor or his deputies, inside sources confirmed that Bello is a very Deligent , meticulous and analytical person, one staff even describing him as workaholic and straight forward, most times the first to come to the office and last to leave is part of the CBN management team led by Yemi Cardoso.

“He rose through the ranks to become Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, a position requiring rigorous security checks and scrutiny. It’s unfair to blame him for implementing recommendations from the special investigation counsel appointed by the president.”

The success at the CBN is a result of teamwork, compliance with APEX Bank policy, and a capable team following the CBN hierarchy. President Tinubu mandated Mr. Obazee to produce a comprehensive report on public funds held by corrupt individuals and entities. The report exposed 593 unauthorised bank accounts in the US, UK, and China, and revealed billions of naira stolen from CBN accounts. It also recommended prosecuting Mr. Emefiele and 13 others for alleged financial misconduct.

Ibrahim believes President Tinubu has commendably taken decisive action to combat corruption in the CBN, appointing a special investigator to probe the bank and related entities.

He lauded the administration’s commitment to transparency and accountability, adding that it is a significant step forward in the fight against corruption.

“The Federal High Court in Lagos has granted an order of interim forfeiture of property valued at N11,140,000,000 linked to Emefiele, further justifying President Tinubu’s efforts to ensure a corrupt-free CBN.

“Additionally, $4.6 billion charges have been leveled against Emefiele, equivalent to N7 trillion Naira, and $6.2 million fraudulently withdrawn from the CBN account in 2023 in the name of logistics to foreign observers, done by forging the signature of the then president Mohammadu Buhari.

“Sources confirm that some staff involved have returned over $1 million to the CBN with confessional statements, and many CBN staff are ready to testify against Emefiele. A former Director of Information Technology, John Ayoh, has admitted to collecting $600,000 on behalf of Emefiele from contractors. Another staff member, Monday Osazuwa, has also admitted to collecting $3 million cash in tranches for Emefiele.

“It’s also on court record and public records how Mr Monday Osazuwa who is not ready to follow Emefele to prison admitted to have collected $3 million cash in tranches for Emefele , it’s also in a public knowledge that Zenith Bank the Bank Emefele left as CEO to CBN as Governor on 28th November, 2023 A Compliance Officer at Zenith Bank, Remigious Ugwu, testified in court about a series of large transactions involving the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and April1616 Investment Limited. He revealed that the CBN made several payments to the company, including:

– N39,060,465 on October 19, 2020

– N421,953,488 on November 6, 2020

– N304,883,720 on November 23, 2020

– N304,883,720 on January 1, 2021

– N304,883,720 on March 23, 2021

“These transactions totaled over 1.4 billion naira and were paid by the CBN to April1616 Investment Limited over a period of five months. The purpose and legitimacy of these payments were not disclosed in the provided information.

“The investigation is ongoing, with many hailing President Tinubu’s commitment to transparency and accountability in the CBN. The President’s efforts have sent a strong message that corruption will no longer be tolerated in Nigeria’s financial sector. As the investigation continues, Nigerians are optimistic that President Tinubu’s anti-corruption drive will yield even more significant results, restoring public trust and integrity to the CBN and related entities,” he wrote.

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