• Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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EFCC summons Dangote officials to Abuja over alleged forex crime

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has summoned Dangote Group officials to Abuja for detailed documents on forex transactions spanning nine years.

EFCC operatives stormed the group’s Lagos headquarters, probing alleged forex allocation abuse under ex-CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele.

During its operation, it was gathered that the anti-graft agency took away some sensitive documents that may be helpful to its current investigation into the truth behind Emefiele’s abuse of power over forex allocation.

However, not satisfied with the content of the documents confiscated, it decided to summon some of the top officials of the company to come along with the documents to its Abuja headquarters on Tuesday, it was reported.

Dangote, presently in the US, plans to return next week to address the issue personally, an official of the company said.

Punch reported that a highly placed EFCC official said senior executives of the company had been mandated to supply the commission with what he called “detailed and unambiguous documents on the demands by the commission.”

It was gathered that the officials would be expected at the agency’s office on Tuesday.

“Yes, they (Dangote officials) asked for time to enable them to get all the necessary documents, which was granted. The idea is not to be seen to be witch-hunting anyone. What the commission wants is to get evidence and details of how government funds were allocated, and that is all,” the EFCC official said.

An official from Dangote Group confirmed they’re gathering all the requested documents for the EFCC, aiming to demonstrate the company’s innocence.

The official said that despite sending documents and staff to EFCC’s Abuja office, they were surprised by the agency’s visit to their Lagos office.

The official who spoke to Punch said, “Yes, we were aware of the ongoing investigation by the EFCC, and our people were at the headquarters in Abuja with some of the requested documents as of the time its operatives invaded our Lagos office in what I will describe as a show-off.

“We are a law-abiding group, but it is difficult to get all the documents covering the tenure of Emefiele at once, but our people are working at night to get all the relevant documents, which will be sent to the anti-graft agency next week.”

Dangote refuted prior forex malpractice allegations, asserting legitimate investment practices.

The raid, lasting hours, saw documents taken from 2014 to June 2023. The commission demanded forex-related forms from 51 firms, investigating Emefiele’s alleged forex irregularities.

Emefiele had last week refuted the allegations in an investigation report as “false and damaging.”

The EFCC probes the alleged preferential forex allocations as potentially violating financial regulations and the CBN Act, implicating Emefiele and other companies.

The Dangote Group, while refuting allegations of forex malpractices and money laundering, denied the money channelled to non-Nigerian subsidiaries.

The raid at their headquarters saw financial documents related to forex allocations seized.

The investigation involves alleged actions by Emefiele involving public funds in foreign accounts without approval, leading to recommendations for fresh charges.

Emefiele denies these accusations. The EFCC is investigating preferential forex allocations made by Emefiele, involving not only Dangote but 51 other companies.