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FG sets to recover banks illegally acquired by Emefiele

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Godwin Emefiele Gambia CBN Nigeria CBG



The investigator appointed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to probe the Central Bank of Nigeria, Jim Obazee, has disclosed that the government is on the brink of recovering two banks allegedly illegally sold to former CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele. 

The report suggests that Emefiele utilized proxies to acquire Union Bank of Nigeria for Titan Trust Bank Limited and Keystone Bank without providing any evidence of payment.

Obazee submitted the findings of his investigations into acquiring Union Bank and Keystone Bank to President Bola Tinubu in two separate letters dated December 20, 2023. 

The investigator’s report also revealed that Emefiele unlawfully deposited billions of naira in public funds in over 593 bank accounts in the United States, United Kingdom, and China without approval from the apex bank’s board of directors and the CBN Investment Committee.

Additionally, Emefiele faced allegations of granting a N22.7 trillion Ways and Means advance to the Federal Government without the approval of former President Muhammadu Buhari. 

These revelations were outlined in the interim report submitted by Obazee to President Tinubu on December 9, 2023.

Obazee stated, ‘When we carried out the investigation, we discovered that some persons were used as proxies by Mr. Godwin Emefiele to set up Titan Trust Bank and acquire Union Bank therefrom, all from ill-gotten wealth. We were able to secure some documents and investigation reports that will lead to the forfeiture of the two banks to the federal government. We have completed our investigation on this acquisition and have also held meetings with the relevant parties except for Mr. Cornelis Vink, who is currently hospitalized in Switzerland. Otherwise, we are on the verge of recovering these two banks for the Federal Government.’

President Tinubu had appointed Obazee to investigate the CBN on July 28, following the suspension of Emefiele, who served as the apex bank’s governor from June 4, 2014, to June 9, 2023. Emefiele is currently in prison for failing to meet bail conditions after being granted bail on November 22 over N1.2 billion procurement charges.”

 

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