FG will recover two banks illegally sold to Emefiele – CBN investigator

cbn, Emefiele

Jim Obazee, the investigator appointed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to investigate the affairs of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has said the government is on the brink of reclaiming two banks allegedly sold illegally to former CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele.

According to Obazee’s findings, Emefiele utilised proxies to acquire Union Bank of Nigeria for Titan Trust Bank Limited and Keystone Bank, with no evidence of payment.

The investigator submitted detailed reports on the acquisition of Union Bank and Keystone Bank to President Tinubu on Wednesday in two separate letters dated December 20, 2023.

This revelation follows Obazee’s prior discoveries that Emefiele purportedly stashed billions of naira in public funds across 593 bank accounts in the United States, United Kingdom, and China without approval from the apex bank’s board of directors and the CBN Investment Committee.

Furthermore, an interim report by Obazee submitted on December 9, 2023, revealed that Emefiele approved a N22.7 trillion Ways and Means advance to the Federal Government without the required approval from former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Obazee said, “When we carried out the investigation, we discovered that some persons were used as proxies by Mr Godwin Emefiele to set up Titan Trust Bank and acquire Union Bank therefrom, all from ill-gotten wealth.

“We were able to secure some documents and investigation reports that will lead to the forfeiture of the two banks to the federal government.

“We have completed our investigation on this acquisition and have also held meetings with the relevant parties except for Mr Cornelis Vink, who is currently hospitalised in Switzerland.

President Tinubu had appointed Obazee on July 28 to probe the CBN following the suspension of Emefiele, who served as the apex bank’s governor from June 2014, to June 2023. Currently, Emefiele is incarcerated for failing to meet bail conditions after being granted bail on November 22 over N1.2 billion procurement charges.

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