Special investigators appointed by President Bola Tinubu have questioned no fewer than 20 people with connections to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and its immediate past governor, Godwin Emefiele.
Our source tells us that, in addition to Emefiele’s driver, the four other deputy governors of the central bank were also questioned.
The drivers were questioned, as one of the sources explained, because “they were the ones who carried the big men around.”
“Many directors, particularly those directly under the deputy governors, were interviewed,” the sources said.
Aside from the people in charge of the various intervention programmes, “officials from the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC) have also been invited.”
They also called on representatives from the Nigeria Microfinance Bank (NMFB) and the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS).
On Friday, in order to carry out their mission, the special investigators paid a covert visit to the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL Plc).
However, it appears no one was apprehended at the time.
Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC) Executive Secretary Shuaib Ahmed and Deputy Secretary Iheanyi Anyahara were reportedly summoned to testify before the panel in relation to the preparation of the CBN’s audited financial statements for the years 2016–2022.
According to one source: “Some of those summoned are detained till the following day if their interrogation takes longer than anticipated or if they need some documents from their office and they did not bring them along.” While waiting for the paperwork to arrive, they will be detained.
Also, if a person is being questioned in connection with another person, that person will be detained until the other person is invited for questioning.
We don’t have a firm count of the invited guests just yet. Let’s just say it’s close to 20 people.
Former board members may also receive an invitation from the special investigator.
Any former board member who is relevant to the investigation will be invited to participate. “Even former board members are welcome to apply,” the source emphasised.
Under the inter-agency committee, the Department of State Services (DSS) is conducting a parallel investigation of the CBN.
The deputy governors, Aisha Ahmad and Kingsley Obiora, were detained by the inter-agency committee.
Source continued, “The DSS investigative team is different from Obaze’s team.
Where they submit their own report is beyond me. Since it is unclear who instructed them to do so, one must wonder if they simply wish to keep the information for internal (inter-agency) use.
“It’s common knowledge that Obaze’s group takes orders from the President.”
In a letter dated July 28, 2023, President Tinubu tasked the FRC’s first Executive Secretary, Obaze, with investigating the activities of the central bank and its subsidiaries.
The President of Nigeria personally signed a letter stating that he would be conducting an audit of the government’s books at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Ltd (NNPCL), the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and other government business entities.
The letter states, “This administration is, today, continuing the fight against corruption by appointing you as a Special Investigator, to investigate the CBN and related entities, in accordance with the fundamental objectives set forth in section 15(5) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
You are to report directly to my office and your appointment is effective immediately.