Alleged fraud: Dispute stalls FG, Emefiele plea bargain talks
There were hints yesterday that the suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele and other top officials of the bank may face trial afterall.
This follows the stalling of the plea bargain move between the Federal Government and the embattled apex bank boss.
It was learnt that Emefiele and the affected officials of the apex bank have “not made substantial concessions on some refunds expected from them.”
Sources said that trillions of naira were being tracked by a federal agency but only a few billions of naira was offered as refundable by some of those linked to the suspicious transactions.
Emefiele is being held by the Department of State Service (DSS).
It was gathered that some interceding forces and Emefiele have not made progress on the plea bargain terms.
Despite Emefiele’s offer to step aside in August, the other aspects of plea bargain process were “not substantially met.”
It has also been confirmed that the four deputy governors were dropped because of their alleged complacency when Emefiele was in the saddle at the apex bank.
The Presidency was shocked by the “massive scale of fraud and flagrant violations of the CBN Act,” it was learnt.
It was also learnt that following interventions, the government’s investigation, initially coordinated by a security agency, had recommended plea bargain option with Emefiele, who wanted it.
Apart from Emefiele offering to step aside, other terms were the withdrawal of court cases against the government and the refund of substantial cash allegedly linked to him and others.
But there were strong indications that the plea bargain option may have suffered a setback.
The source said: “Where trillions were being queried, some of those affected have offered to refund about N32 billion only. “The engagement of the Special Investigator has also uncovered more mismanagement of resources and questionable expenditures in CBN than what some security agencies dug up. “The findings of the Special Investigator have uncovered a massive rot.”
A source within the Presidency, said the CBN was stinking. He declined to volunteer information on the plea bargain dimension.
The source said the government might prosecute anyone indicted.
He said: “I don’t know whether plea bargain has collapsed or not. I don’t even know if that is on the table to start with. But I know the CBN Governor and the Deputies have been removed.
“The investigations across board are going on and Iam sure the govt will prosecute anyone who has compromised the country.”
Investigation confirmed that the four deputy governors were replaced because of their alleged complacency.
The Presidency source said none of the deputy governors complained when Emefiele was allegedly mismanaging the CBN.
“Most of the DGs “actively collaborated with Emefiele on policies and decisions not in line with the CBN’s mandate,” he said.
Those affected were Folashodun Adebisi Shonubi (Deputy Gov Operations and Acting Governor); Aisha Ahmad (Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability): Adamu Lamtek (Deputy Gov Corporate Services) and Kingsley Obiora (Deputy Governor, Economic Policy).
The source added: “Investigation is still ongoing. The special investigator sure uncovered a lot of rots which implicated the Deputy Governors.
“There is no way the Deputy Governors would have remained with the scale of corruption, poor corporate governance and complacency that happened under Emefiele.
“Allowing them to remain will mean the government has condoned all that went down under their watch.” Nation