Against the report by the special investigator on the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Jim Obaze, a Financial Investigation Initiative Group, has has alleged that it was the former Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and a lawmaker representing Mushin Federal Constituency in the Green Chamber, Hon. James Faleke, who approved the Ways and Means of the apex bank and not its former governor, Godwin Emefiele being wrongly accused.
The group recalled how the 9th House of Representatives led by Gbajabiamila approved a loan request by former President Muhammadu Buhari to restructure the N22.7 trillion loan from the CBN extended to the federal government under its Ways and Means provision.
It was reported on Friday that the Special Investigator on the Central Bank of Nigeria and Related Entities, Jim Obaze, in its report alleged that Emefiele, a minister and 14 others have been implicated in over N26.6 trillion fraud, and have been recommended for trial.
No fewer than 16 former government and CBN officials were alleged to have indulged in fraudulent use of ‘Ways and Means,’ which stood at N26.627 trillion.
Reacting to the claim, the Financial Investigation Initiative Group, in a statement by its Director General, Ali Mustapha described the allegations as false, fabricated so as to have an excuse to continue a witch-hunt on an innocent man.
The group recalled how Gbajabiamila, now the Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu and Faleke, the chairman, House Committee on Finance, had on May 4, 2023 approved a loan request by former President Muhammadu Buhari to restructure the N22.7 trillion loan from the CBN extended to the Federal Government under its Ways and Means provision.
It quoted the votes and proceedings of the House for the day as: “That the House do consider the Report of the Committees on Finance, Banking and Currency and Aids, Loans and
Debt Management on the Restructuring of Ways and Means Advances and approve the recommendations therein (Laid: 2/5/2023), approve the requested additional N1 trillion Ways and Means advances for the implementation of the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Act as passed by the National Assembly.
“Approve the Securitization of the total outstanding Ways and Means amount under the following terms: amount N23,719,703,774,306.90, Tenor 40 years Moratorium on Principal Repayment 3 years, pricing/Interest Rate 9 percent per annum.”
The group alleged that “the funding from that loan approval is being used by the present President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for which Obaze, the special investigator manufactured fake reports to blackmail and indict Emefiele for something that was approved by the federal government and National Assembly.”
It also alleged that the report was meant to justify why Emefiele should be unjustly kept in prison detention despite being vindicated of any allegations by Obaze and the Department of State Services, DSS.
The group, therefore, called urged the so called investigators to stop with the lies and release Emefiele unconditionally.