Buhari’s signature forged to withdraw $6.2b from CBN, says ex-SGF, Mustapha

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By Kenneth Atavti

Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha has said the signature of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari was forged by those who withdrew $6,230,000 from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on February 8, 2023.

Mustapha, who was testifying on Tuesday, February 13, in the trial of former governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, said his signature was also forged, adding that he knew nothing about the money reported to have been withdrawn for the payment of foreign election observers.

The ex-SGF said it was not the business of the federal government or the office of the SGF to request funds from the CBN for the payment of foreign election observers, saying it was solely the responsibility of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deal with issues relating to election observers.

He said that one Jubrin Abubakar, who allegedly collected the $6.2 million cash on February 8, 2023, under the watch of Emefiele, was not a staff of the Office of the SGF and was not known to him.

Mustapha faulted two letters alleged to have emanated from the Presidency under Buhari and the Office of the SGF, noting that the letters did not conform to the standard with which the Presidency and SGF writes letters.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had alleged that Emefiele forged the letters to defraud the Federal Government.

Recall that on Monday, at trial the of embattled Emefiele, the lead witness, Mr. Onyeka Ogbu, narrated how the defendant approved the release of the sum of $6, 230, 000 to international election observers.

Ogbu, who is the first witness, PW-1, in the amended 20-count charge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, preferred against Emefiele, told the court that he is a Deputy Director at the CBN, in charge of branch operations.

Led in evidence by EFCC’s lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, the witness, identified some documents he said were in relation to the disbursement of the approved funds, to the foreign election observers.

He told the court that his attention was brought to the approval by one of the departments at the apex bank, adding that his own responsibility was to process the release of the requested fund in accordance with the due process.

It further alleged that the contract for the renovation of the CBN Governor’s lodge, located at No. 2 Glover Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, was awarded to a company named Messrs Architekon Nigeria Limited, wherein Emefiele’s wife and brother in-law, were directors and majority shareholders.

Offences the defendant committed, according to the EFCC, contravened sections 17, 19 of the corrupt practices and other related offences Act, 2000, as well as sections 315, 363 and 364 of the penal code.