Godwin Emefiele, the embattled former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, says he has no knowledge of the 593 foreign accounts he’s accused of operating, describing allegations against him by Jim Obazee, the CBN’s special investigator as false.
After his release from Kuje prison, where he was held for over six months after meeting his bail conditions, Emefiele issued a press release on Sunday. He strongly maintained that the widely circulated accusations against him were false.
Responding to a publication titled “Re: EMEFIELE, OTHERS STOLE BILLIONS, ILLEGALLY KEPT NIGERIA’S FUNDS IN FOREIGN BANKS,” the embattled former CBN governor strongly contested the allegations.
He stressed that the accusations were “false, misleading, and calculated to disparage my person, injure my character, and serve the selfish interest of the private investigator.”
He mentioned that despite his legal advisors’ counsel to refrain from addressing Obazee’s allegations due to the ongoing court proceedings, potentially risking subjudice, he felt compelled to clarify that the accusations intended to tarnish his reputation were entirely false.
He said, “However, I need to address some of the issues raised in the publication, which are barefaced lies told by the investigator, in order to achieve his satanic agenda.
“First, it was reported that, contrary to the provisions of the CBN Act 2007, there was no presidential approval for the Naira redesign. I wish to state unequivocally that there was indeed a presidential approval, and the said approval was handed over to the same Jim Obazee during the process of his investigation in the presence of senior CBN officials and his own investigative team.
“Moreover, the former President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has stated on a number of occasions that he authorised and approved the Naira redesign. I am therefore at a loss as to why Mr. Jim Obazee will mislead Nigerians that there was no presidential approval.”
Addressing the issue of the $6.23 million unauthorised withdrawal from the CBN vault, purportedly under a false presidential directive bearing the signatures of former President Muhammadu Buhari and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha, Emefiele stated, “I had no knowledge of such a directive from the former president and the former SGF,” emphasising that it was his first encounter with such documentation.
Regarding the management of 593 bank accounts in various global locations, Emefiele clarified, “I had no knowledge of these accounts, and they simply do not exist.”
He said, “The final issue that I will like to respond to is the issue of the 593 accounts which were purportedly opened in different parts of the world.
“I state categorically that I am not involved in the opening of these accounts, and I do not have knowledge of their openings.
“The fixed deposits in those foreign accounts are definitely outside my knowledge.
“However, let me state clearly that the relevant departments of the CBN have the authority to carry out such activities in line with their lawful mandate within the CBN.”
Shocked over the fictitious bank accounts and other allegations levelled against him, Emefiele said that he has joined calls by “well-meaning Nigerians who have spoken on this matter and have demanded a thorough and transparent investigation of all these alleged frauds.”
He, however, mentioned that he has instructed his “lawyers to immediately commence legal process to clear my name from the defamatory statements contained in the report and, by extension, the publications.”