Former CBN Governor Faces Allegations of Illegal Foreign Accounts: Special Investigator Submits Report to President Tinubu

Emefiele Accused of Opening 593 Foreign Bank Accounts Without Approval, Investigation Reveals Multiple Offences

A damning report submitted by the Special Investigator appointed by President Bola Tinubu has accused the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, of unauthorized actions, including the opening of 593 foreign bank accounts. The documents, disclosed on Wednesday, December 20, 2023, detail the alleged offences committed by Emefiele, who has been in custody since his suspension on June 9, 2023.

President Tinubu had appointed Jim Obazee, the Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, as the special investigator in a letter dated July 28, 2023. The investigation targeted the CBN and key government entities, with the goal of combating corruption. The report submitted on December 20 outlines chargeable offences committed by Emefiele and recommends prosecution not only for him but also for other top officials at the CBN.

The primary accusation revolves around Emefiele’s alleged opening of 593 foreign bank accounts in the United Kingdom, United States, and China without the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari or the CBN board of directors. The investigator claims to have traced the accounts and revealed staggering amounts in various currencies, including £543,482,213 in fixed deposits in the UK alone.

Emefiele is also implicated in other infractions, such as the naira redesign policy, where he reportedly subjected Nigerians and the economy to distress by outsourcing the redesign to De La Rue in the UK for a fee of £205,000. Other areas of concern include “questionable” legal fees, ways and means spending, COVID-19 expenditures totaling N1.622 trillion, and other intervention programs.

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The report suggests that Emefiele, along with others, should be prosecuted for these alleged offences, and it remains unclear when the full details of the findings will be made public. Sources close to President Tinubu confirm the submission of the second report and emphasize the president’s commitment to supporting a diligent investigation that will be acceptable to Nigerians. The developments mark a significant chapter in the ongoing legal battles surrounding Emefiele’s tenure as the CBN governor.

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