The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has begun an investigation into an alleged multi-billion naira fraud at the Central Bank of Nigeria which centres on the disbursement of a loan facility being managed by the Director in charge of the CBN agricultural loans.
SaharaReporters learnt that the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, presently jittery and fighting hard to stop the probe has reached out to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to wade into the EFCC investigation of the CBN director of Development Finance Department (DfD), Yila Yusuf.
Yila’s DfD is in charge of gricultural loans at the CBN.
SaharaReporters gathered that the EFCC operatives last week stormed the CBN department over some atrocities committed by Yila Yusuf. He was accused of owning expensive houses and cars in Abuja and in the Lekki part of Lagos State.
“Last week, the EFCC went to CBN DfD, the department that deals with agric loans and more. That is the cash cow of Emefiele and is led by a corrupt director, Yila. Since last week, Emefiele has been doing all he can through the Attorney-General, Malami, to ensure Bawa does not investigate the department.
“Changes have also been done in the department by redeployment of staff who Yila and Emefiele assumed were leaking the atrocities in the department.
“The said director was invited to Lagos but the matter has been shut down by Emefiele and Malami. Yila Yusuf is accused of owning expensive houses and cars in Abuja and Lekki part of Abuja,” a top source in the CBN told SaharaReporters.
The CBN has in the past claimed it distributed billions of naira as loans under the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) to farmers.
The latest investigation by the EFCC only adds to the growing list of atrocities and scandals that the lavish CBN governor, Emefiele, is enmeshed in.
SaharaReporters had on September 20 reported that the Arewa Youth Assembly, a socio-economic and socio-political group, called for the resignation or sacking of Emefiele.
According to the northern group, doing so will save the nation from further economic meltdown.
They had insisted that the sum of N500billion which was stolen in a private Dubai investment towards the end of 2018 should be investigated as well as other funds that went missing during Emefiele’s administration.
SaharaReporters had in May 2019 made public a phone conversation of Emefiele; his deputy, Edward Lametek Adamu; Director for Finance, Dayo M. Arowosegbe and one of the Special Advisers to the CBN Governor, Emmanuel Ukeje discussing how to cover up the loss of over N500billion stolen from the CBN in a private investment that collapsed.
Two audio files, exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters, revealed how the governor and top officials of the apex bank discussed plots to conceal the loss of huge sums of money in a Dubai investment.
The CBN claimed the audio conversation was genuine but no money was missing from the bank.
Speaking to journalists on Sunday, Mohammed Salihu Danlami and Abdulsalam Kazeem; Speaker and Deputy Speaker of AYA respectively alongside other group’s leaders had urged the CBN Governor to resign over his alleged inability to stabilise the country’s bleeding economy.
Also on September 23, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asked the CBN governor to resign over allegations of overseeing looting of funds in the nation’s apex bank.
According to the PDP, the allegations are based on the affirmations from the Secretary of the National Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator John Akpan Udoedehe during a Channels TV programme.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) demands the immediate resignation and prosecution of the Governor of the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele going by allegations by the All progressives Congress (APC) that he superintended over massive looting of funds in the CBN.
“Our party calls on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to immediately invite Emefiele for questioning over allegations by the National Secretary of the illegal APC National Caretaker Committee, Senator John Akpan Udoedehe, that the CBN governor supervised over the pillaging of the nation’s vaults under his watch,” the party had said.
“Our party insists that beyond Akpan Udoedehe’s allegation, the tenure of Emefiele as CBN governor under the APC administration has witnessed colossal failures of monetary and fiscal policies, requiring him to vacate the office and hand himself over for investigation.
“It is instructive to note that when Emefiele took over office as CBN Governor in 2014, naira exchanged for N164 to a dollar. Today, in the hands of Emefiele and the APC, the naira has tumbled to a near N600 to a dollar, putting the nation’s economy on its knees.
“Painfully, under the leadership of Emefiele, the CBN has failed in its core mandate of managing the economy and took a dive into propaganda with claims that do not reflect the harsh economic reality on the ground.
“The PDP, therefore, urges the EFCC not to allow this revelation to be swept under the carpet as it borders on serious economic sabotage for which sanctions are clearly spelt out under our laws,” it had added.
On September 16, a coalition of civil societies backed the Arewa Youth Assembly, calling for the resignation of Emefiele.
Seven different groups joined others who wanted the governor to resign over his alleged inability to stabilise the country’s bleeding economy.
In a statement made available by the coalition and signed by seven of them, the groups noted that the current high poverty rate in the land on the failure of the country’s economy under Emefiele’s watch as CBN governor.
The groups which signed the press statement include; the Nigeria Citizens Action Group, Unified Nigerian Youth Forum, Concern Northern forum, Igbo unity forum of Nigeria, Federation of Idoma Youths, Igbo Youth Assembly and Itsekiri National Youth Council.
“The Nigeria Citizens Action Group (NCAG), a coalition of 35 civil society organisations is constraint to lend its voice with that of numerous other concerned Nigerians that have been calling on Mr Godwin Emefiele, Nigeria’s CBN to resign with immediate effect to save the country from total collapse.
“This call became necessary following the extensive review of the tenure of Mr Godwin as the head of our apex bank which has come to the sad conclusion that he should humbly step aside and allow a more competent person to step in to save our country from total collapse.
“We understand that it will be difficult for him and his heirs to reason with us, but we wish to beg on them to put on their garment of patriotism and save our country”, the coalition said.
The statement continued, “Based on the Arewa Youth Assembly earlier call on the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele to resign his position as the apex bank boss over his inability to stabilise the glaring nose-diving country’s economy, we have noticed the sponsored backlash and propaganda against our persons instead of the issues we have raised.
“The fact that the sponsored messengers of the propaganda couldn’t come up with an issue-based argument is a clear indication that Mr Emefiele has truly failed and they are only helping in further exposing his flaws because Nigerians are watching.
“Mr governor would have proved us wrong with facts and figures, and possibly, engage the services of those with related intellectual to defend his inability to stabilise our bleeding economy.”