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EFCC unveils how Central Bank Officials Defrauded Nigeria of N8 Billion

Anti-graft agency, EFCC has revealed that top officials of the Nigeria
Central Bank, CBN, colluded with officials of private banks to defraud
the country of about N8 billion in the past one year.

Read the EFCC statement below:

EFCC To Arraign Six CBN Big Wigs, 16 Others for N8billion Currency Fraud June 2

The
Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC has concluded arrangement
to arraign in court, five top executives of the Central Bank of
Nigeria, CBN, implicated in a mega scam involving the theft and
recirculation of defaced and mutilated currencies. 

The
suspects drawn from various business units of the apex bank are to be
docked by the anti-graft agency before a Federal High Court sitting in
Ibadan, Oyo State, from Tuesday June 2, 2015 to Thursday June 4, 2015.

They
include Patience Okoro Eye( Abuja) , Afolabi Olufemi( Lagos), Kolawole
Babalola (Ibadan), Olaniran Muniru Adeola (Ibadan), Fatai Yusuf,
Adekunle (Head, Security, CBN, (Ibadan) and Ilori Adekunle
Sunday,(Akure). 

The remaining
sixteen suspects are drawn from various commercial banks who were found
to have conspired with the CBN executives to swing the heist. 

All
the suspects who are currently in the custody of the EFCC are now ruing
the day they literally allowed greed and craze for materialism to
becloud their sense of judgement and responsibility, when they elected
to help themselves to tones of defaced Naira notes. Instead of carrying
out the statutory instruction to destroy the currency, they substituted
it with newspapers neatly cut to Naira sizes and proceeded to recycle
the defaced and mutilated currency. 

The
fraud is partly to blame for the failure of government monetary policy
over the years as currency mop up exercises by the apex bank failed to
check the inflationary pressure on the economy. 

The
lid on the scam which is widely suspected to have gone on unchecked for
years, was blown on November 3, 2014 via a petition to the EFCC
alleging that over N6, 575, 549, 370.00( Six Billion, Five Hundred and
Seventy-Five Million, Five-Hundred and Forty-Nine Thousand, Three
Hundred and Seventy Naira) was cornered and discreetly recycled by light
manipulated top executives of the CBN at the Ibadan branch. 

The
suspects, who were members of the Briquetting Panel, plotted their way
to infamy on September 8, 2014, while carrying out a Briquetting
exercise at the CBN Branch, Ibadan. 

In
banking parlance, Briquetting is disintegration and destruction of
counted and audited dirty notes. By this practice, depositor banks
usually take mutilated notes to the CBN in exchange for fresh notes
equivalent of the amount deposited. 

The
depositor banks in this instance are Zenith Bank, FCMB, Wema Bank,
Access Bank, First Bank, Skye Bank, Ecobank and Sterling Bank. 

But
while carrying out the assignment, the team were alleged to have found
one of the currency boxes filled only with old newspapers rather than 20
bundles of N1000 notes.
A similar case, according to investigation,
had been discovered on September 22, 2014 when a box that was supposed
to contain N500 notes to the tune of N5billion was filled with old
newspapers. 

Unlike in the past,
this fraud could not be swept under the carpet, as a member of the
Briquetting Panel from the Osogbo branch blew the lid on the illicit
deal. In a statement, the informant stated that the exercise was
designed to last between August 4 and 8, 2014.
The 35-year-old,
however, stated that she discovered a strange ‘sight’ while opening the
third box on the second day of the exercise. It was a discovery that
beat her ken. 

She added that she
confronted the other members of the panel, including Eye, Head,
Briquetting Panel; Treasury Assistant; Coordinator and Head, Security,
CBN, Ibadan, who all assured her that they would look into it. But she
later found out that it was all a ruse. She said she later found out
that Eye not only maintained sealed lips over the matter but omitted it
from her report.  

A five-count charge awaits the suspects as they prepare to face the wrath of the law.

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Kemisola Ade

Kemisola Adeyemi is the Assistant Editor of Kemi Filani News. She loves to write and write and write and hopes to own a publishing firm someday! Email: [email protected]

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