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EXCLUSIVE: How CBN emptied its vaults to finance PDP’s presidential campaign

EXCLUSIVE: How CBN emptied its vaults to finance PDP’s presidential campaign
December 04
07:47 2015
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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) practically emptied its vaults apparently to finance the presidential campaign of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), sources conversant with investigations into security spending in the last administration have informed TheCable.

TheCable had earlier reported the extra-budgetary disbursement of N40 billion to the office of the national security adviser and N20 billion to the Department of State Services (DSS) by the CBN, but fresh revelations indicate that the monies were released in dollar cash — contrary to all money laundering regulations.

They were taken directly from the dollar reserve vaults of the central bank, TheCable understands.

Security sources disclosed that in August 2014, Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor, called a board meeting and asked for an approval of N60 billion to support the security services under a “special security intervention fund” he intended to create.

Emefiele, who is also chairman of the board, told the members that the money was needed to equip the military to fight the insurgency in the north-east, following a series of onslaughts by Boko Haram.

Some board members reportedly cautioned him against such an audacious move, advising instead that the expenditure should be tied to procurement, but he was said to have rejected the advice.

This was shortly after he had secured approval from President Goodluck Jonathan to disburse the funds.

Sambo Dasuki, retired colonel and then NSA, had twice requested for N60 billion in documents seen by TheCable — and was only successful at third attempt following Jonathan’s intervention.

In the new documents seen by TheCable, the former NSA regularly wrote to Emefiele asking him to disburse the approved money in hard currency equivalent, usually in tranches of N10 billion.

Publicity Payments

Dokpesi: I got N2.1 billion for Jonathan’s media publicity

Investigators have now traced some of the monies collected by the office of the NSA to the PDP presidential campaign, with Raymond Dokpesi, chairman of AIT, revealing that he collected N2.1 billion from the office to undertake media publicity for Jonathan.

Dasuki has said not all the monies he received were for security, maintaining that some were for NGOs.

However, questions have been raised on how CBN created the security fund overnight to meet NSA’s requests.

“What the CBN did was to create an intervention fund, which it is empowered to do by the CBN Act. That is why we have aviation intervention fund, agriculture intervention fund, all sorts, which are now being abused to take money out of the system,” one of the sources said.

A former minister told TheCable that it is illegal for the CBN to pay raw dollars to any government agency.

He said: “If the money was given to the NSA in naira, this would be a case of the CBN printing money for the government and adding to pressure on prices and exchange rates. I was told a lot of this happened in many instances and did a lot of damage to the economy.

“If, on the other hand, as it is being alleged in this case, the NSA was given this money in cash forex, then a strong case can be made for criminal activity by the CBN itself. In giving so much cash, the CBN is itself involved in money laundering. And by taking it from the central bank vaults, the management of the central bank has effectively taken foreign exchange from CBN reserves and given same to the NSA with no questions asked.”

The way it was done, according to CBN insiders, “was that the money was taken directly from CBN vaults without any account being credited. It effectively did not go through the due process. The accountant-general did not sign off as it is the practice.

“Money was just moved directly like it happened under Gen. Sani Abacha when large amounts were taken out of the CBN under the guise of financing ECOMOG, the West African peace-keeping force. We know where the bulk ended up.”

Final Push

PIC. 11. PRESIDENT JONATHAN’S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN IN LAGOS 3 (1)

The February 14 presidential election was controversially postponed

Sources further told TheCable that it was common for the CBN to dole out hundreds of millions of dollars in cash to various agencies in government in the run-up to the general election.

For instance, in February 2015 — after the presidential elections were controversially postponed ostensibly to fight Boko Haram — the CBN took almost $300 million on the instructions of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) and passed it to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

NAPIMS is a corporate services unit in the exploration and production directorate of the NNPC charged with managing government’s investment in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry.

NIA is Nigeria’s equivalent of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which deals with foreign intelligence.

Investigators are working with the theory that the money was used to finance PDP’s “final push” in the presidential election which it eventually lost to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“After meeting NAPIMS’ request, the CBN did not have any more dollars in its vaults. Even for estacode, CBN staff had to wait for dollars from the branches,” a CBN source said.

The economy has been on a spiral in the last one year as the fall in oil prices has further worsened the problems caused by the excessive drawing down on dollars in the last one year of Jonathan’s administration.

The naira has since been devalued and the forex market is virtually paralysed, with the CBN effectively outlawing the operation of domiciliary accounts and banning forex supply for the import of dozens of items.

Ibrahim Muazu, the CBN director of corporate communications, did not respond to messages.

A CBN official told TheCable: “The central bank does not engage in public controversy.”

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39 Comments

  1. Mamman Bako
    Mamman Bako December 04, 09:00

    I hope this story ends with guilty punished.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Elder
    Elder December 04, 09:04

    This piece is an attempt to rubbish the effort of the Central Bank in sanitizing the Foreign Exchange market. How can a CBN Governor be so daft in doing such?

    Reply to this comment
    • Chinedu Kekeocha
      Chinedu Kekeocha December 04, 10:12

      Elder,in Nigeria worse things have been done.Or how do you explain that Nigeria is bankrupt just immediately after having an oil boom.You can believe what you want,but sentiments and parochialism would continue to keep us down despite the immense potentials.

      Reply to this comment
    • Olusegun
      Olusegun December 07, 13:01

      We have seen ‘dafter’ practices…

      Reply to this comment
  3. Dave
    Dave December 04, 10:27

    Oh my dear Nigeria with few Nigerians!!. The blood of the innocent is crying out aloud against those who would rather kill them than protect them. Why destroy the country for personal gains? When will justice come? Those found wanting should be punished ever so severely so that the next generation will learn.Ex President Jonathan, Uncle, you fold our hands sir.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Governor Ifeco Ozioma
    Governor Ifeco Ozioma December 04, 11:29

    I am a die-hard supporter of Goodluck Jonathan and a card carryin member of PDP. But if all these allegations r tru n he is culpable, den his govt was enmeshed in corruption n he deserves probe n criminal prosecution. Pls non shud be spared. Dis is wickedness 4 sacrificing d lives of military men n civilians on d altar of self aggrandizement. All indicted, investigated, probed n convicted shud b jailed

    Reply to this comment
    • Pato
      Pato December 04, 16:58

      I love this simple and straight forward contribution. All persons accused, investigated and found culpable should be dealt with severely and appropriately whether in GEJ’s regime or anytime since our independence!

      Reply to this comment
    • Olusegun
      Olusegun December 07, 13:02

      May your days be long…

      Reply to this comment
  5. David K Oluwagbile
    David K Oluwagbile December 04, 11:40

    I am honestly tired of this corrupt world. If i should talk more i think ex president Obasanjo should be call to answer all of Nigeria problems. He cause our woes. I pray God to judge him immediately. PMB has little to do but i am begging God to minister to him to handover power to a God fearing Leader.

    Nigeria shall be great and God will deliver us from the hands of the gredy politicians. PMB please dont let us down, do something now that will brighten our future and will also please our maker (God). Heaven will help i this matter.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Opsy
    Opsy December 04, 11:55

    With this revelation I see why Naira has depreciated so bad that each day it’s getting worse . All I plead is to have the current CBN Governor removed . The last administration and PDP never believe the election will go the other way. Nigeria will be great one day

    Reply to this comment
  7. MIDEL
    MIDEL December 04, 13:23

    It’s quite unfortunate that those in charge of sensitive positions like the Central Bank Governor could be this irresponsible knowing quite alright the long term effects of such withdrawals on an import dependent economy like ours.Many of our so called Financial Experts are as guilty as the politicians for the present terrible state of our economy They must all be brought to book,Mrs Okonjo-Iwealla must come out and tell us her role in all these afterall , she was the “almighty Supervising Minster of the Economy” with far reaching powers in GEJ’s government

    Reply to this comment
  8. omoboy
    omoboy December 04, 13:49

    ‘Truth is mighty and it will prevail’

    Reply to this comment
  9. Birabi
    Birabi December 04, 14:43

    Is this the reason why Nigerian banks keep complaining that there is no dollar to pay Nigerians who send their salaries back home after suffering outside the country to earn thier salaries? If this story is true then Nigerians in diaspora should meet and take decision to stop further remittance.

    Reply to this comment
  10. as per
    as per December 04, 14:45

    Kill corruption now or corruption will kill us as a nation, as a reminder to my fellow Nigerian, we are already dying as a result corruption this is why we have to throw away sentiment and support the anti graft war against corruption of the Mr.president…
    God bless Nigeria

    Reply to this comment
  11. basil
    basil December 04, 15:18

    For every Forex that enters CBN there is an accounting entry same with withdrawal The writer is just assuming things. The Governor of CBN does not have the power to withdraw funds whenever he likes.The security agencies should stop heating up the nation by leaking uncompleted investigation to the public.Only the courts have the power to find people guilty.

    Reply to this comment
    • Shito
      Shito December 05, 11:55

      Am not too sure if you are living in other side because here impossibility becomes possibility .Abacha clep is a cases study.

      Reply to this comment
  12. Addoki
    Addoki December 04, 16:25

    It is hard to believe that this is the same economy where Okonjo Iweala presided as finance minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy.

    Reply to this comment
  13. PEX O
    PEX O December 04, 16:35

    This is just d begining b4 PMB complete 1yr in office more facts will still unfold.My question is do this people reason at all? How can d country be good? If u go futher those that taste d good part of it will tell u witch hunting. Is this still witch hunting?Let dem be punish arcordingly.p

    Reply to this comment
  14. Barrister
    Barrister December 04, 17:19

    CBN Lagos Branch activated their CCTV during this period under review.

    Reply to this comment
  15. Maidabino
    Maidabino December 04, 20:35

    Does these unpatriotic Nigerians has any conscience in their sic mind? Looting spree like there is no tomorrow, likewise there won’t be any day of Judgement!
    May God Have Mercy On The Nigeria’s Soul!

    Reply to this comment
  16. WilliamsOkebunor
    WilliamsOkebunor December 04, 21:40

    This news report is so one-sided. Why did the Cable not seek the side of the CBN governor before going to press as would a responsible medium especially with this kind of sensitive report? Looks more like a hatched job to me. Moreover, how would Emefiele have known that the monies were not going to be spent on arms to fight terrorism? Let us all be realistic please. I am not saying the CBN governor is a saint but let us cut him some slack and allow him rescue the naira from forex speculators…

    Reply to this comment
    • MaturedGuy
      MaturedGuy December 05, 10:25

      If you really read the story you would have seen where it was stated that the CBN Director of Communications did not respond to their questions. So how else would they have gotten their own side of the story? Them not commenting already indicates they have something to hide!!!!

      Reply to this comment
  17. STORMY AKA
    STORMY AKA December 05, 00:34

    Nawawo! 4 naija, may God give PMB strength n long life to fight corruption n insurgency in d country n also remember the present Governors in the their sit especially north east Governors like His Excellency Bindow Jibrila the executive Governor of Adamawa state who collect bail out money to pay his staff for three month back bt up to know I’m speaking no payment was made, only some few ministry in the state councils was paid, forgotten the rest, especially the LG staffs of the 21LG in the state whose is having an outstanding salaries of 5month n 2yrs leave grand was deny to pay them in the of using the bailouts money to repair road leading to former vice president Atiku Abubakar, which the money is not made for. pls PMB should look into the case of Adamawa state for action taking

    Reply to this comment
  18. kennoski
    kennoski December 05, 00:52

    Everybody has right of fair hearing so before we pass judgment we should allow detailed investigation to be carried out

    Reply to this comment
  19. Agba
    Agba December 05, 09:14

    Every one culpable must be jailed, Nigerians should learn to say no or resign from involving in shady deals that will bring them to disrepute.

    Reply to this comment
  20. Felix
    Felix December 05, 17:05

    Your comment..What shall be the job of the courts now that the DSS has already condemned the accused before any hearing. So the DSS has not changed from being loquacious as in the days of Marylyne Ogar?

    Reply to this comment
  21. omoola
    omoola December 05, 20:54

    Don’t ever believe security agencies for what they dole out to the public. If they are sure that this took place, what are they waiting for? Prosecute the offenders. You don’t need to release stories to the public. Very soon, we will be hearing different versions of the same story. There is no security agency anywhere in the world releases the truth to the public when the story is still very fresh. It may take decades before the truth finally surfaces.l for one take all l have been told with a pinch of salt.

    Reply to this comment
  22. Obi
    Obi December 06, 07:17

    Same talk, talk talk. Please, when would the actual arrests & prosecutions begin? And, let there be some names from the South-East Zone, please.

    Reply to this comment
  23. deep thinking
    deep thinking December 06, 08:49

    Any success stories does not start with excuses, to achieve success you must have some tall mountain to climb and if at the beginning of you ascending the ladder you stumble and rather than find a better way of climbing back up you keep attributing your falls to the fact that the previous climbers nuddled or destroyed the pathway up then you won’t be able to climb to achieve the success you desire. Let’s stop attributing our failures to others achievements or otherwise, those are mere excuses of laziness on why you can’t climb the mountain. Nigeria is a mountain that has been bastardized in so many ways and in all ramification but the way out is not witch hunting or casting blames on previous failures. We need to find a way forward and its not what we are doing presently. If we are going to keep witch hunting and casting blames then the next 4 years will be as a single day, we will sub mesh ourselves in a lot of bigger troubles, why? Because when a finger is pointed at one corrupt person, that person will point finger at so many other corrupt persons of the past and so on and so on and this will just keep us busy chasing shadows all around and you find the years has rolled by with nothing done whereas we will be worse off from where we started. Let’s all be factual,99% of Nigerians are corrupt, yes including you that’s making the loudest noise out there. Go to various establishments,companies, industries etc, you will discover that the same looting going on the the government t is enmeshed there too, the top managements are feeding so large and dishing peanuts to the workers, companies will owe workers months of unpaid salaries saying there’s no profit and when you investigate you find that the profit increases every year but the powers that be wouldn’t let it cascade down to the “slave workers”. So I implore we stop all this nonsense of finger pointing and rather than chasing shadows cos that’s what we are doing now, lets bring our heads together and find a way forward. The change we all crave begins with you, you,you and me and not just one person as a president, he is just one man and a human being at that. Remember if you put your hand on the plough you shouldn’t look back. And if u glimpse back it should be to note where the others failed in the past and how to ensure you don’t fall victim of such failure. Thank you.

    Reply to this comment
  24. maude
    maude December 06, 10:36

    Your comment There is GOD woooo….

    Reply to this comment
  25. RomanxJ
    RomanxJ December 06, 15:50

    Left to me, alots of civillians and sodiers has suffers the consequence of this subject we are discussing shabbily like a pieces of clothes in the market, it’s only those family that suffers the consequences feels the pinches and agony of this matter, had it been there’s death penalty for curruptors in the past, I believe halve of Nigerian problem we are now would have been solved, I must confessed that most of our so called leaders knew they are all guilty of this same curruption and that’s why they won’t clinched the bull by the horn if not they would have passes a death sentence bill for any currupt leaders for long, I can’t imaging someone been sentence to death for stealing a some of less than #15000 why someone that embestle thrillion is left roaming above the globe with the money they stole. May God Almighty give the suffering masses in consequence of our curruptleaders succur. In my own conclusion, I presume every currupt leader to be executed if found guilty and let it serve as a deterrant incoming leaders than think they can embestle scotfree. God bless Nigeria.

    Reply to this comment
  26. Sadam Jee
    Sadam Jee December 06, 17:33

    I believe we should not use this write up to judge the person of Godwin Emefiele. This man is the most honest, straightforward & hardworking person still working in the corridor of power today. Soon the REAL truth will come out, people should pls stop this blackmail for God sake

    Reply to this comment
  27. Aljenam
    Aljenam December 06, 20:43

    Tis time to construct all kiinds of stories against PDP. No one knows what some other public and civil servants did secretly to help themselves during that heat period. Some senior officers of the central bank if probed deeply will be found wanting. Infact they are conduits. And this is not Tthe first time. Obasanjo did the same thing.

    Reply to this comment
  28. Abdul
    Abdul December 07, 10:48

    It’s a complex situation, may God give PMB the wisdom to save Nigeria

    Reply to this comment
  29. This_house_has_fallen
    This_house_has_fallen December 08, 22:30

    Nothing is really surprising. We are doomed as a people. And I’ll not weep for Nigeria. The main reason is that a lot of horrible and scandalous allegations have been levelled against our past leaders…but where did it lead to? No where! How many of our politicians are in prison for their crimes? And needless to say that crime without punishment is an invitation for more criminality. And that’s why we are where we are! Who says Nigeria is NOT doomed?

    Reply to this comment
  30. jose
    jose December 25, 22:44

    Your comment..the CBN headed by Emiefele that introduced cashless policy involving in the movement of such humongous cash as confessed by the former NSA himself, as a matter of urgency, Emiefele must face criminal prosecution, Nigerians are good people, if not, all PDP stalwarts should have been stoned to dead in view of the shameful revelations which caused avoidable death of gallant soldiers and teaming civilian populace most especially women and children, the blood of these innocent Nigerians will be upon these mindless politicians and there collaborators including the former NSA. I wonder what would be going on in the mind of GEJ in view of the Bazaar he Orchestrated yet deceiving Nigerians that his political ambition does not worth the blood of any Nigerian, when actually his actions together with his mindless cohorts are sending innocent Nigerians to early grave on daily basis without any sign of respite. The severe judgment of God awaits all of them in this World and the World to come

    Reply to this comment

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