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Emefiele, deputies shunned Buhari, approved pay rise – Investigator

 

Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin
Emefiele, and his ex-deputies approved for themselves an upward review of their
salaries without presidential approval.

 

The CBN Special Investigator, Jim Obazee, who disclosed this
in his report to President Bola Tinubu, said the former CBN governor and his
deputies decided at the 758th meeting of the Committee of Governors held on
September 14, 2022.

 

The investigation report asserted that the review was not
approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation
and Fiscal Commission, the agency that oversees the disbursement of funds from
the Federal Account.

 

Tinubu had in a letter dated July 28, 2023, named a former
Executive Secretary of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, Obazee, as
the CBN special investigator.

 

Recall that on Friday, NigerianEye reported that Emefiele, allegedly lodged public funds in no
fewer than 593 bank accounts in the United States, United Kingdom, and China
without the approval of the apex bank’s board of directors and the CBN
Investment Committee.

 

There are fears that the findings of the special
investigator may further compound the woes of the ex-CBN governor who is being
prosecuted for N1.2 billion procurement fraud

 

Obazee in his report recommended that Emefiele and the
Deputy CBN governors and directors should be charged for various criminal
offences.

 

The report read in part, “The then CBN governor and his
Committee of Governors held their 758th meeting on September 14, 2022, and
approved for themselves upward review of salaries (referred to as annual pay
parity in US dollars), sitting allowances, air tickets, and incidental expenses
of the board and Monetary Policy Committee members.

 

“This was carried out without the approval of the President
nor in consultation with the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal
Commission. The Secretary to the Board of the CBN kept mute over this
development and the board members looked the other way.’’

 

The report further highlighted how the apex financial
institution allegedly printed money and converted it to its use, stressing that
there was no legal provision for the action.

 

It stated that the financial statements of the bank did not
tally with its numerous financial interventions, suggesting that the CBN under
Emefiele operated secret reserves whose location was only known to it and not
disclosed in its financial statements.

 

Shedding light on the allegation, the report said, ‘’For
instance, the huge liquidity intervention in the banking sector by the CBN from
2014 to date was not derived from the operational income stream of the CBN.

 

“On request, the CBN officials could not show the source of
this fund. It is observed that the CBN determines the financial reporting
standards; it ended up mixing up cash basis with cash accruals in its
accounting system.

 

“The bank’s statement of account cash flow in the audited
financial statements fails to show the source and application of the huge
banking sector intervention and other 43 intervention programmes in several
trillions of naira from 2014.

 

“The overflow of this in subsequent years is indicative
since the opening balance of one year is logically the ending balance of the
preceding year. In situations like this, the only explanation is that money was
printed by the CBN and same was converted to its own use.’’

 

Calls to the line of the counsel for Emefiele, Matthew
Burkaa, SAN indicated that it was not reachable.

 

However, he has yet to respond to a text message sent to him
as of the time of filing this report.

 

Meanwhile, a former deputy governor of the CBN, Kingsley
Moghalu, has accused Emefiele of being the worst governor the apex bank has
ever produced in the history of the country.

 

Moghalu said this in a lengthy post on the X platform via
his verified handle on Saturday.

 

He cited Emefiele’s incompetence, performance regarding the
stability of the naira exchange rate and inflation, the brazen provision of
Ways and Means lending to the government, including his attempt to run for
president, and the “incompetent” manner in which the naira redesign policy was
handled.

 

He wrote, “The foregoing notwithstanding, my views on
Emefiele’s performance as CBN Governor have been a matter of record even when
many now opining on the matter of his performance on the job were mute.

 

“He is, without debate, the worst and most damaging Central
Bank Governor in Nigeria’s history- incompetent and ill-prepared for the role,
and from all available information from his actions, doubtlessly severely
challenged with integrity.’’

 

“Four things make this clear; his performance regarding the
stability of the naira exchange rate, as well as inflation; the brazen illegal
provisions of Ways & Means lending to @NigeriaGov; Emefiele’s illegal
attempt to run for President, in clear contravention of section 9 of the CBN
Act of 2007, which precludes the Governor and Deputy Governors from engaging in
activities outside their functions; and the incompetent manner in which the
Naira Redesign Policy was handled, and its consequent negative, indeed
disastrous impact on Nigeria’s economy,” he noted.

 

While describing the central bank of any country as a very
sensitive institution, he said confidence (or the lack of it) in the
institution has practical consequences for Nigeria’s economy.

 

He stressed that corruption has robbed Nigeria of its
destiny and impoverished the citizens while enriching “at insane levels” a
select few.

 

“Combating it has to be a holistic affair, not just
politically convenient media trials,” he added.

 

Moghalu argued that Nigeria’s political leadership culture
and governance needed a complete overhaul, adding, “The current approach to the
matter to Emefiele, who undoubtedly deserves his trial, is not quite the
optimal path when placed under close scrutiny.”

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