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Emefiele: Buhari Approved Payment of $6.2m to Election Observers, CBN Director Reveals

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Emefiele: Buhari Approved Payment of $6.2m to Election Observers, CBN Director Reveals

The Deputy Director and Head of the Service Delivery Division of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Michael Onyeka Ogbu has revealed how the immediate former President, Muhammadu Buhari, approved the payment of $6,230,000 to some International Election Observers before the last general election.

Speaking while testifying as a prosecution witness in the case of the former Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, on Monday, Ogbu told a High Court sitting in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, that according to documents before him, a sum of $6,230,000 was allegedly paid to foreign election observers on Buhari’s directive.

News About Nigeria reported that the former governor of the apex bank is currently undergoing trial on an alleged 20-count amended charge, preferred against him by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

Among other allegations, Emefiele was accused of forging a document that he claimed was from the office of the President to loot a sum of $6,230,000.00 under the guise that it was for foreign observers as directed by former President Buhari.

Emefiele who was accused of allegedly engaging in criminal breach of trust, was said to have falsely represented the Secretary to the Government of the Federation through a letter dated January 26, 2023, with Ref No. SGF 43/L.01/201 to collect the money, claiming that it was for foreign election observers.

Ogbu during his testimony at the court, revealed that the funds were released because the request documents contained evidence of approvals by former President Buhari and the former CBN governor.

The senior director of the apex bank who served as a witness for prosecution lawyer, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, also told the court that, in the letter received for the disbursement of the funds for the foreign observers, they had instructed them to debit an account which is a Naira Forex Account with the naira equivalent of $6,230,000.

Ogbu further noted that, in the memo, it was stated that the money would be refunded in the second quarter of 2023 by the Federal Ministry of Finance.

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