Emiefele: Panic at CBN, NIRSAL as investigators swing into action

There is panic and apprehension within the top hierarchy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as the team deployed to support the Special Investigator appointed by President Bola Tinubu to probe the activities of the apex bank and related entities commences intelligence findings.

Recall that sequel to the sacking and subsequent arrest of Godwin Emiefele, Tinubu had appointed Jim Obazee as a Special Investigator to probe the activities of the CBN and other related entities.

In a letter dated July 28, Tinubu said the appointment of Obazee, relying on the fundamental objective outlined in Section 15(5) of the Nigerian Constitution, was in furtherance of his administration’s anti-corruption fight.

The appointment of Obazee, who was the chief executive officer of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) until 2017, was with immediate effect even as he was asked to report directly to the president.

News Direct gathered that following his appointment, the Special Investigator in a letter dated August 18 wrote to the Inspector General of Police requesting for the deployment of four senior officers to his office to facilitate the smooth take-off and execution of his assignment.

In response, the IGP conveyed approval in a letter dated September 6 and signed on his behalf by CP Abaniwonda S. Olufemi. The letter titled, ‘Deployment of Police Personnel’ with reference numberTH:5361/FS/FHQ/ABJ/T.5/428, listed the deployed officers as DCP Eloho Edwin Okpoziakpo; CSP Celestine Odo; CSP Segun Aderoju and DSP Tijani A. Bako.

It was gathered that startling preliminary intelligence by the investigator’s team headed by DCP Eloho Edwin Okpoziakpo is already sending jitters down the spines of top management staff of the CBN and the Nigerian Incentive Risk Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL).

Among other intelligence DCP Eloho and his team are said to have developed is that on NIRSAL and the Anchor Borrowers Programme which have over the years been at the centre of investigations.

President Tinubu recently gave a marching order that all funds allocated to these agricultural programmes be recovered.

Daily Trust had back then investigated multiple corruption allegations that rocked NIRSAL under the former Managing Director, Aliyu Abbati Abdulhameed, who was fired by ex-President Muhammadu Buhari in December last year.

It was further gathered that the investigators are also set to unravel how the Anchor Borrowers Funds were being kept as fixed deposits by parties close to the embattled CBN governor.

An insider confided in Daily Trust that some of the individuals involved in the fixed deposits (names withheld) are currently in panic mode, including an aide of the ex-CBN governor who is said to have operated a total of 61 bank accounts that included 44 fixed deposit accounts and 2 treasury bills accounts.

Apart from investigating the N5.6 billion wheat project scandal in Kano and Jigawa states, a source confided in Daily Trust that the investigators would also probe the alleged allocation of about 600,000 monthly for the upkeep of the former MD’s dogs.

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