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Alleged Fraud: Former SGF, 12 Top CBN Executives Face Trial Over $6.3 Million Withdrawal

Daud Olatunji
A  probe into the Central Bank of Nigeria  has uncovered a fraudulent withdrawal of $6.3 million just days before the 2023 presidential election.
The investigation, led by Special Investigator Mr. Jim Obazee, appointed by President Bola Tinubu, has recommended the trial of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and 12 top executives of the CBN for their alleged involvement in the illicit transaction.
The funds were purportedly taken from the vaults of the Foreign Payments Office, Abuja Branch, as captured on CCTV between February 7th and 8th, 2023.
The Investigator revealed that the suspicious withdrawal was executed under the guise of a letter dated January 23, 2023, bearing the signature mark ‘Muhammadu Buhari.’
The letter, titled ‘Presidential Directive on Foreign Election Observer Missions,’ allegedly ordered the withdrawal for the payment of foreign election observers.
Following this directive, a subsequent letter dated January 26, 2023, was directed to former  Governor  of CBN, demanding the payment of $6.23 million as a ‘contingent logistics advance’ in line with the presidential directive.
Another letter dated January 31, 2023, sought approval from the CBN Governor to effect the payment.
The fraudulent withdrawal came to light on December 4th when the Special Investigator issued a Request for Information to the CBN management.
The investigator accused the former SGF and top government officials of “forgery, concealment, conspiracy, and fraud” in connection with the unauthorized withdrawal.
One official of the CBN, in a written statement, admitted to collaborating with an Assistant Director in the Banking Supervision Department and unidentified individuals to carry out the act of stealing $6.23 million from the CBN vault. Two top CBN officials are already in custody in connection with the incident.
The Investigator highlighted an “appearance of concealment” by officers occupying various positions around the period of February 7th and 8th, 2023. Mr. Obazee urged the government to prosecute directors, deputy directors, assistant directors, and branch controllers involved in the fraudulent cash withdrawal.
As this scandal unfolds, questions arise about the integrity of financial institutions and the need for robust measures to prevent such occurrences in the future.
The legal proceedings against the accused individuals are expected to shed light on the extent of the conspiracy and the potential ramifications for the country’s financial and political landscape.

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