Friday, June 16, 2023


Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has uncovered a fraudulent scheme that resulted in the illegal realization of N70 billion. The suspended Governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, along with others, was involved in this corruption scandal. The money was raised through a forex differential fraud, facilitated by Emefiele and with the assistance of Alhaji Aminu Yaro, the Sarkin Hausawa of Lagos, and his wife.

President Bola Tinubu suspended Emefiele from his position, following which he was arrested and transported from Lagos to Abuja for interrogation related to corruption and abuse of office. Emefiele's suspension was confirmed by Willie Bassey, the Director of Information for the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume.

The fraudulent activities conducted by Emefiele involved exploiting the privileges of his position to generate quick cash through forex differential fraud. The scheme operated by selling foreign exchange to individuals at the official rate, while having an understanding that these individuals would later sell the forex at the black market rate after the Central Bank credited their banks. The difference in rates would then be deposited into an account held by Aminu Yaro on behalf of Emefiele. The investigation has so far traced approximately N70 billion to this account.

It has been alleged that the suspended Chairman of the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, compromised the case due to the involvement of influential individuals close to the seat of power. While some charges related to Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML) offenses were filed against Yaro's wife, the main case and the substantial forex exchange malpractice differentials worth about N70 billion were not addressed adequately.

Meanwhile, President Tinubu has directed the unification of foreign exchange rates, aiming to eliminate the multiple foreign exchange regimes established during the previous administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a separate development, Bawa, the suspended EFCC Chairman, has been indefinitely suspended by President Tinubu, pending a thorough investigation into allegations of abuse of office. Bawa's suspension followed serious accusations against him.

Emefiele and Bawa are currently being detained by the Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria's secret police, where they are being interrogated. The Naira redesign scam, which caused significant controversy, is among the issues being investigated. Emefiele had identified Bawa as an accomplice in this fraudulent scheme.

The controversial Naira redesign policy, announced in November 2022 by Emefiele and then-President Buhari, caused hardship for Nigerians due to the scarcity of new currency notes. Additionally, Emefiele's refusal to comply with a Supreme Court ruling, which allowed the old notes to remain legal tender until December 31, aggravated the situation.

The involvement of Emefiele in terrorism financing and fraud has also come to light, with allegations that he funded armed groups in the Southeast region of Nigeria using resources intended for his failed presidential campaign in 2022, as well as diverting public funds.

The investigation into these cases is ongoing, and Emefiele has been suspended from his position as Central Bank Governor to facilitate the investigation and the proposed reforms in the financial sector.

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