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HomeCrimeReport: Ex-CBN governor Godwin Emefiele embezzled vast sums from Nigerian government

Report: Ex-CBN governor Godwin Emefiele embezzled vast sums from Nigerian government

Nigeria’s once-powerful central bank chief Godwin Emefiele has been fingered in a massive corruption scandal running into hundreds of billions of naira that dragged the Nigerian economy to its knees, according to a detailed summary of his crimes published by Premium Times Dec. 22.


While he headed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Emefiele teamed up with a select CBN officials to steal billions of naira which were pumped into 593 bank accounts in the United States, United Kingdom, and China, according to a report by government-hired special investigator Jim Obazee.


Obazee found out that Emefiele lodged £543,482,213 ($691,841,987) in numerous British bank accounts, while a massive sum is in U.S. and Chinese banks. These transactions were done without authorization by the central bank’s board of directors and investment committee. “All the accounts where the billions were lodged have all been traced,” Obazee said.


Emefiele was suspended by President Bola Tinubu on June 9 and was arrested a day after by the Department of State Services (DSS), the functional equivalent of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, to answer to allegations of corruption and fraud. He resigned in August, paving the way for the appointment of new central bank governor Olayemi Cardoso in September. The Emefiele scandal underscores the lack of oversight by former president Muhammadu Buhari who confirmed the authority of Emefiele, who had served as CBN governor for one year prior to when Buhari came into power in 2015. The looting of the Nigerian treasury passed under the nose of the Buhari Administration without discovery for 8 years.

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