Barely five months after the investigation into former Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, governor, Godwin Emefiele, the special investigator appointed for the probe, Jim Obazee, has indicted Emefiele on the N22.7 trillion Ways and Means advance to the Federal Government.
Obazee, in the report submitted to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on December 9, disclosed that there was an instance where Emefiele approved the disbursement of N500 billion in the name of ‘ways and means advance’ without the approval of Former President Muhammadu Buhari.
The report added that with the N22.7 trillion Ways and Means advance, the CBN, under Emefiele, and the apex bank officers were able to give partial details of N9 trillion to the 9th National Assembly.
The report clarified that the true position of the Ways and Means, as documented between CBN and the Ministry of Finance at the time, is N4.44 trillion, not N22.7 trillion.
“There are instances where no approvals are received from former President Muhammadu Buhari, yet N500 billion is taken and debited to Ways and Means.
“There are more shocking instances when the erstwhile CBN Governor and his four deputy Governors connived to steal outrightly to balance the CBN books. This was by violently taking (sic) money from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) account and then charging it to ‘Ways and Means’. They even created the narration as a Presidential subsidy and expanded the ‘Ways and Means’ portfolio to accommodate the crime.
“The CBN officers and even the then Acting CBN Governor could not produce the Presidential Approval of most of the expenses described as “Ways and Means”. When confronted to provide the breakdown of the supposed N22,719,703,774,306.90 that was presented to the 9th National Assembly to securitize the “Ways and Means” financing illegally; they were only able to partially explain a total of N9,063,286,720,318.92 or N9,258,040,720,318.92 (depending on which official you are considering his submission) and an unreasonable attribution of non-negotiated/unadvised interest element of N6,678,874,321,541,97.
“The true position of the “Ways and Means” as documented from the reconciliation between the CBN and the Ministry of Finance at the time is N4,449,149,411,584.54,” the report read.
Meanwhile, DAILY POST reported that N22.7 trillion ways and means advance had been scrutinized and added to Nigeria’s total debt stock, which stood at N87.91 trillion in the third quarter of 2023.
Recall that on July 28, President Bola Tinubu appointed Obazee to probe CBN after the suspension of Emefiele, who presided over the apex bank from June 4, 2014 to June 9, 2023.
Emefiele is currently in prison for failing to meet bail conditions after Justice Hamza Muazu had on November 22 granted him bail over N1.2 billion procurement charges.