By Dike Onwuamaeze
Five top officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria and 16 others will on Tuesday, June 2, 2015, be docked at Federal High Court, Ibadan, by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFFC) for their alleged roles in an N8bn currency fraud.
According to Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, head, media department of EFCC, the commission has concluded arrangement to arraign in court, five top executives of the Central Bank of Nigeria, implicated in a mega scam involving the theft and recirculation of defaced and mutilated currencies.
“The suspects drawn from various business units of the apex bank are to be docked by the anti-graft agency before a Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State, from Tuesday, June 2, 2015 to Thursday June 4, 2015. The remaining 16 suspects are drawn from various commercial banks who were found to have conspired with the CBN executives to swing the heist.
“All the suspects who are currently in the custody of the EFCC are now ruing the day they literally allowed greed and craze for materialism to becloud their sense of judgment and responsibility, when they elected to help themselves to tonnes of defaced Naira notes.
“Instead of carrying out the statutory instruction to destroy the currency, they substituted it with newspapers neatly cut to Naira sizes and proceeded to recycle the defaced and mutilated currency.”
According to the EFCC spokesman, the fraud is partly to blame for the failure of government monetary policy over the years as currency mop up exercises by the apex bank failed to check the inflationary pressure on the economy.
The lid on the scam which is widely suspected to have gone on unchecked for years, was blown on November 3, 2014 via a petition to the EFCC alleging that over N6,575,549,370.00 was cornered and discreetly recycled by light fingered top executives of the CBN at the Ibadan branch.
Uwujaren said that another fraud to the tune of N5bn was uncovered on September 22, 2014 as N500 notes to the tune of N5bn meant for destruction were replaced with newspaper cuttings.
By Dike Onwuamaeze