A legal practitioner, George Uboh, has gone to court to stop plan by the federal government to extend the appointment of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.
The financial recovery agent, in a suit brought before the Federal High Court, Abuja division, said the federal government cannot ask the Senate to confirm Emiefele’s reappointment when a matter challenging his stewardship had not been decided.
In an affidavit deposed to by Martin Okoye, a lawyer at the chambers of the applicant’s counsel, JohnMary Jideobi, the applicant said Mr Emiefele connived with the Nigerian National Petroleum Coporation (NNPC) to divert $24 million from funds that accrued to Nigeria through the sale of petroleum products in the country.
It read: “In January, 2016, NNPC issued an instruction to the CBN; headed by the Defendant to transfer $162, 064, 237.46 to CBN/JV Cash Call Account 001-1-658-366 with JP Morgan and Debit CBN/NNPC Crude Oil Revenue Domiciliary Account No. 400941775.
“That a closer scrutiny of “Exhibit GUWN 8” and “Exhibit GUWN 9” clearly shows that while revenue from Gas may have been correctly stated, that of Crude Oil was understated to the tune of Twenty Four Million United States Dollars [$24, 000, 000.00].
“That the instruction of the NNPC directing the CBN to remit $162, 064, 237.46 instead of the $186, 327, 246.02 it generated clearly reveals the collusion of the Defendant with the NNPC to rip the Treasury of the Federal Government and the FAAC of $24, 263, 008.56. Now shown to me and marked as “Exhibit SUIT 1.”
According to the charge; the applicant also said Mr Emefiele diverted over $760 million from its record accrued foreign exchange earnings.
“In 2017, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) confirmed to have sold forex to Bureau De Change (BDCs) at four (4) different locations across the Federation, namely Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Awka. The Apex Bank further confirmed that a total sum of Four Billion, One Hundred and Fifty Nine Million, Nine Hundred and Sixteen Thousand United States Dollars [$4, 159, 916, 000.00] were sold to the BSCs in 2017.
“That despite the Apex Bank selling forex to the BDCs at the rates of N360.00 to N381.00 per Dollar in 2017, it never declared more than N304-N305 per Dollar.
“This occasioned a huge loss of over N232 Billion Naira (which is an equivalent of $760 Million) to the Federal Government’s Treasury from the forex sales of BDCs alone representing exchange gains which should have been disclosed to the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee [FAAC].”