The embattled former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele has described as a satanic agenda recent media reports alleging massive corruption and fraud during his now ‘tainted’ nine-year duty tour at the nation’s apex bank.
He was reacting to publications that referenced the special investigation panel on CBN and other entities, led by a private investigator, Jim Obazee, less than 48 hours after regaining freedom from detention at the Kuje Correctional Centre, Abuja.
In his statement titled, “Re: EMEFIELE, OTHERS STOLE BILLIONS, ILLEGALLY KEPT NIGERIA’S FUNDS IN FOREIGN BANKS”, the former apex Bank Governor debunked the allegations, labeling the panel’s findings as “false, misleading, and calculated to disparage” his character.
Consequently, he has dropped the hints of filing a lawsuit against the report and its publications, for defamation.
The Obazee’s Report, recently submitted to President Bola Tinubu on Thursday following about six months of investigating the activities of CBN under Emefiele’s watch, threw up issues of corruption and theft allegedly perpetrated by senior officials of the apex bank.
The report alleged that Emefiele, among other things, illegally embarked on the Naira redesign policy without presidential approval while also withdrawing a whopping sum of $6.23 million from the CBN vault without any authorisation from the relevant authorities.
However, insisting that the presidential approval for the Naira redesign policy actually exist and was provided to Obazee during the course of investigation, Emefiele demanded that the alleged forged presidential directive and his statements denying knowledge of it by published for public scrutiny to unravel the truth.
Emefiele said: “I have gone through the publications, and I say boldly that the contents of the said publications are false, misleading, and calculated to disparage my person, injure my character, and serve the selfish interest of the private investigator
“I have been advised by my lawyers not to say anything in respect of the matters which have been submitted to the court for adjudication. However, I need to address some of the issues raised in the publication which are barefaced lies told by the investigator in order to achieve his satanic agenda.
“First, it was reported that, contrary to the provision of the CBN Act 2007, there was no presidential approval for the Naira redesign. I wish to state unequivocally that there was indeed a presidential approval, and the said approval was handed over to the same Jim Obazee during the process of his investigation in the presence of senior CBN officials and his investigative team.
“Moreover, the former President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR has stated on a number of occasions that he authorised and approved the Naira redesign. I am therefore at a loss as to why Mr. Jim Obazee will mislead Nigerians that there was no presidential approval.
“The report also claimed that the sum of 6.23 million dollars was withdrawn from the CBN vault based on a false presidential directive bearing the signature of the former president Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, and that of the former secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha.”
Further picking holes in the reports; Emefiele said; “About two weeks ago, Jim Obazee in the company of a certain Deputy Commissioner of Police from Force CID came to Kuje to ask me questions in respect of the said document in the presence of my lawyers.
“I stated verbally and in writing that I have no knowledge of such a directive from the former president and the former SGF. In fact, I told them that that was the first time I would be seeing the documents. On this, I challenge Jim Obazee to publish the said documents and also the statements that I made to them.”
On allegations of opening a scandalous number of bank accounts to illegally warehouse billions of Naira in the United States, United Kingdom, and China, the ex-CBN Boss, who denied having any “knowledge” of such accounts, said; “The final issue that I would like to respond to is the issue of the 593 accounts which were purportedly opened in different parts of the world. I state categorically that I am not involved in the opening of these accounts and I do not have knowledge of their openings.”
While hammering on transparency in the investigation of all related matters, Emefiele however said; “I therefore join well-meaning Nigerians who have spoken on this matter and have demanded a thorough and transparent investigation of all these alleged frauds.”
Banking on clearing his name of wrongdoings, he said in the statement; “I have instructed my lawyers to immediately commence legal process to clear my name from the defamatory statements contained in the report and by extension the publications.”