Six CBN officials In Trouble Over N8bn Scam

CBN Staffs From Left Yusuf Fatai, Toogun Kayode, Afolabi     Olufemi Johnson, Olaniran Muniru Adeola, Patience O Eye and Ilori   Adekunle   Sunday.
CBN Staff From Left Yusuf Fatai, Toogun Kayode, Afolabi Olufemi Johnson, Olaniran Muniru Adeola, Patience O Eye and Ilori Adekunle Sunday.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Tuesday arraigned six members of staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and 16 others from other banks over an alleged N8 billion fraud.

The CBN officials include Patience Okoro Eye, Afolabi Olufemi, Kolawole Babalola, Olaniran Muniru Adeola, Fatai Yusuf, Adekunle, and Ilori Adekunle Sunday.

The anti graft agency in an earlier statement released to the media by its head of media and publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, said the suspects, drawn from various business units of the CBN, would be arraigned by the EFCC before a Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State, from Tuesday June 2, 2015 to Thursday June 4, 2015.

The statement said the suspects allegedly stole and recirculated defaced and mutilated naira notes illegally.

The remaining 16 suspects were said to have also conspired with the CBN staff to swindle the government.

The EFCC said that the suspects instead of carrying out the statutory instruction to destroy the currencies in their possession rather substituted it with newspapers neatly cut to Naira sizes and proceeded to recycle the defaced and mutilated currency to make illegal monies.

“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 statement said.

The EFCC noted that the scam which had been going on for years was uncovered on November 3, 2014 via a petition the EFCC received which alleged that over N6, 575, 549, 370.00 was cornered and discreetly recycled by light fingered top executives of the CBN at the Ibadan branch.

It said the suspects, who were members of the Briquetting Panel engaged in the crime on September 8, 2014 while carrying out a briquetting exercise at the CBN Branch, Ibadan.

In banking language, briquetting is disintegration and destruction of counted and audited dirty notes. Depositor banks usually take such mutilated notes to the CBN in exchange for fresh notes equivalent of the amount deposited.

The EFCC listed the depositor banks as Zenith Bank, FCMB, Wema Bank, Access Bank, First Bank, Skye Bank, Ecobank and Sterling Bank.

It said it was later discovered that one of the currency boxes was filled with old newspapers rather than 20 bundles of N1,000 notes indicated on the package.

“This fraud could not be swept under the carpet as a member of the Briquetting Panel from the Osogbo branch blew the lid on the illicit deal.

In a statement, the informant stated that the exercise was designed to last between August 4 and 8, 2014.



    The 35-year-old, however, stated that she discovered a strange ‘sight’ while opening the third box on the second day of the exercise.”

    According to the EFCC, the informant allegedly confronted the other members of the panel who all assured her that they would look into it.

    However they failed to look into the scam which led to the commencement of investigations by the EFCC and subsequent arrests made by its operatives.

    A similar case, according to EFCC, had been discovered on September 22, 2014 when a box that was supposed to contain N500 notes totaling N5billion was also found filled with old newspapers.

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