Crime

CBN: EFCC should go after, audit all Buhari’s appointees – Human rights lawyer

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CBN: EFCC should go after, audit all Buhari’s appointees – Human rights lawyer

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Human rights lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, on Friday called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to audit the financial transactions of all officials of government who served under former President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to him, the demand became necessary following the startling revelations arising from the prosecution of ex-Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele by the anti-graft agency.

Olajengbesi, the Managing Partner of Abuja-based law firm, Law Corridor, in a statement, commended the EFCC for exposing the alleged forgery of Buhari’s signature and that of a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, by the embattled former apex bank boss, who is enmeshed in a $6.2m fraud for foreign observers in the last poll.

He said, “The audacity of those in power and their criminal influence is becoming too much and must be stopped. The EFCC must not stop at just the former CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele but should carry out an entire audit of principal actors who served under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari. There should be deterrent for bad behaviour.

“Again, the case of the suspended Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Ahmad Salihijo over alleged N1.2bn fraud is fresh, and a pointer to the gross abuse of power by those who served under Buhari.

“Emefiele and all those who served under the Buhari administration should be properly audited and given a chance to clear their names as the corruption that manifested under that government is gargantuan.”

Already, three witnesses have testified against Emefiele with the latest being an EFCC official and a forensic document examiner, Bamaiyi Haruna, who told the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama on Thursday that his analysis of some documents used to release $6.2m from the CBN in February 2023 showed that the documents were forged.

The other witness was ex-SGF Mustapha, who also told the court that neither he nor ex-President Buhari were aware of the $6.2m, adding that Buhari’s signature was forged to move the money out. The third witness was a deputy director at the apex bank, Onyeka Ogbu.

The EFCC, on June 18, 2023, arraigned Emefiele on amended 20 counts, in which he was accused of impersonating Mustapha to illegally move $6.2m from the CBN vault.

In the charges, the EFCC alleged that on February 8, 2023, Emefiele connived with one Odoh Ocheme, who is now on the run, to obtain $6.2m from the CBN, claiming that it was requested by the SGF “vide a letter dated 26th January 2023 with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/.