Former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, vehemently refuted the findings of the Special Investigator appointed by President Bola Tinubu, dismissing them as baseless, false, and defamatory. Emefiele, released from detention after facing alleged N1.5 billion procurement fraud charges, announced in a Sunday statement his intention to initiate legal proceedings to clear his name,Daily Trust reports.
The investigator, Jim Obazee, accused Emefiele of various transgressions, including opening 593 foreign bank accounts without the necessary approvals. Among these accounts were substantial deposits in UK banks, totaling £543,482,213. The report also asserted that the recent naira redesign lacked explicit approval from former President Muhammadu Buhari, claiming the initiative originated from Buhari’s aide, Sabiu Tunde Yusuf.
Emefiele countered these claims, asserting that he provided Buhari’s approval to Obazee during the investigation, and Buhari himself had publicly endorsed the naira redesign. He dismissed allegations of a false presidential directive for a $6.23 million withdrawal from the CBN vault, challenging Obazee to publish the documents and statements made during questioning.
Regarding the 593 accounts opened worldwide, Emefiele distanced himself from the process, stating that he was not involved and lacked knowledge of their existence. He affirmed that relevant CBN departments have the authority for such actions within their lawful mandate. Emefiele called for a thorough and transparent investigation into the alleged frauds and instructed his lawyers to commence legal proceedings to refute the defamatory statements in the report and subsequent publications.