Sunday, 30 July 2023

Uncover CBN, NNPCL mess, economists, groups tell Tinubu’s special investigator

Economists and civil society organisations have backed the appointment of a special investigator to probe the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited 

and other Government Business Entities by President Bola Tinubu.
The experts and groups in separate interviews with The PUNCH on Sunday said the investigation was necessary to ascertain if there were any infractions or alleged abuse of office by the suspended CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and other top government officials.
Their comments came on the heels of Tinubu’s appointment of the former Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, Jim Obazee, as Special Investigator to probe the CBN, NNPCL, and other Government Business Entities.
In a letter sighted by The PUNCH on Sunday, Tinubu directed the special investigator to work with security and anti-corruption agencies  to provide a comprehensive report on public wealth currently in the hands of corrupt individuals and establishments, whether private or public.
According to the letter, the appointment takes immediate effect and the investigator is to report directly to the President on a weekly basis.
Findings by The PUNCH on Sunday revealed that other GBEs the probe would cover include the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited and the FRCN.
This development came barely a week after Emefiele was arraigned in court for illegal possession of firearms and granted bail, but the Department of State Services rearrested him.
The President, in the letter which he personally signed, said the move was in continuation of the government’s anti-corruption fight.
The letter, dated July 28, 2023, read, “In accordance with the fundamental objective set forth in section 15(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), this administration is, today, continuing the fight against corruption by appointing you as a Special Investigator, to investigate the CBN and Related Entities. This appointment shall be with immediate effect and you are to report directly to my office.
“The full terms of your engagement as Special Investigator shall be communicated to you in due course but require that you immediately take steps to ensure the strengthening and probity of key Government Business Entities, further block leakages in CBN and related GBEs and provide a comprehensive report on public wealth currently in the hands of corrupt individuals and establishments (whether private or public).
“You are to investigate the CBN and related entities using a suitably experienced, competent and capable team and work with relevant security and anti-corruption agencies to deliver on this assignment. I shall expect a weekly briefing on the progress being made.”
The president also attached a copy of his directive suspending Godwin Emefiele as Governor of the CBN on June 9, 2023.

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