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Fraud In The Apex Bank: CBN Suspends Deputy Governor, Directors For Fraud

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One of the three deputy governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria is currently on suspension for being involved in ‘a sophisticated plot’ to defraud the bank a huge sum of money, findings by our correspondent have revealed.

 

Top officials of the CBN close to the development told our correspondent that two directors of the bank were also suspended over the multi-million naira scam.

 

The officials, who spoke under the condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak on the matter, said their suspension was ordered by the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, after preliminary findings revealed that they might be culpable.

 

The CBN had on Thursday night said it had uncovered what it described as a highly sophisticated plot to defraud the bank by some people.

 

The bank said in a statement by the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okoroafor, that while preliminary investigations had not revealed any accomplices within the bank, some personnel within the CBN had been placed on suspension.

 

The nature of the fraud was not specified in the statement.

 

It, however, said the need to place the officials on suspension was to allow for proper investigations by the relevant authorities.

 

The statement read, “A highly sophisticated plot to defraud the CBN by some criminally minded elements has been uncovered and aborted by the bank.

 

“Although preliminary investigations so far have not revealed any accomplices within the CBN, the management has decided to place all key personnel involved in the transaction on suspension.

 

“This is to ensure a full and unfettered investigation. This incidence has been reported to the relevant authorities.”

 

The CBN in the statement assured stakeholders in the banking sector that the security within the central bank remains intact and had not been breached.

 

Experts said the CBN as a regulator was being saddled with responsibilities that were related to that of commercial banking and, as such, made its system prone to corruption.

 

Economic and financial services expert , Mr. David Adonri, who is also Chief  Executive Officer of Highcap Securities, said, “The CBN is a banker to the Federal Government; it is also in charge of the foreign exchange market; it is also in charge of regulating the banks.

 

“In some countries, those functions are separated. The CBN is allocating forex to banks. There have been lots of cries that some are favourerd while others are not favoured. This is something that can breed corruption. There are two ways to allocate scarce resources, namely administration and market. That of administration is not always effective in allocating scarce resources. It is only the market that can do a good job.”

 

He also said, “With the implementation of the Treasury Single Account, the CBN is now more of a banker than a regulator. That is another thing that can breed corruption. The CBN is being saddled with more responsibilities that have to do with banking rather than being a regulator.

 

“The attempted fraud allegation is very disappointing, discouraging and is not expected to be coming from the regulator. This is what happens when the regulator also plays the role of a player.”

 

A top ex-banker and Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Assets Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu,  commended the CBN for having what he described as a robust internal control system to intercept the fraud.

 

He said, ‘The fraud attempt was unsuccessful, so it is a plus and indicates that the CBN has a robust internal control process. It shows the level of desperation of people to make money. This kind of thing usually happens in the financial services sector but the key thing is to ensure there is robust system to intercept it.”

 

The CBN spokersperson, Okoroafor, refused to disclosed the names of the suspended officials.

 

He said, “I am in a meeting in Calabar. Investigations are ongoing. Some key personnel of the bank have been placed on suspension not because they are the perpetrators. We need to have a full and unfettered investigation. Please note that the perpetrators are from outside. Two of them have been arrested and no accomplice has been found within the CBN so far.

 

 

 

@ The Punch

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Just In: President Tinubu approves N70,000 minimum wage

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President Bola Tinubu has approved N70,000 as the new minimum wage for Nigerian workers with a promise to review the national minimum wage law every three years.

 

More details later…

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Gov. Zulum Clarifies Son’s Purported Killing Of Chinese National At Indian Nightclub

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The Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has denied reports alleging that one of the sons has been arrested and sentenced to prison for the murder of some Indian citizens.

Reports has it that there were unverified rumours, especially on social media platforms, alleging that the first son of the governor, Umar Zulum Umara, killed the Chinese national during a fight at an Indian nightclub.

However, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on New Media, Abdurrahman Ahmed Bundi, dismissed the reports in a statement on Wednesday.

According to him, no son of the governor was arrested or charged with any crime.

The statement read, “attention of the Borno State Governor’s Media Unit has been drawn to rumours circulating that the son of the Borno State Governor has been arrested for the alleged murder of some Indian citizens.

“This misinformation was published in an online blog, Nairaland, titled “Son of Borno State Governor Murders Someone In India—Politics.” The blog claimed that the Governor also travelled to India, attempting to use diplomatic status to resolve the matter.

“It is on record that Governor Babagana Zulum was on a one-month vacation in Saudi Arabia for the 2024 Hajj and later travelled to Egypt to attend the annual ASUWAN forum conference in Cairo.

“The Media Unit would like to clarify and set the record straight that Nairaland and other online blogs have mischievously spread defamatory content without any speck of truth.

“We hereby warned Nairaland and all those who have spread the false information to pull down this misinformation from its website and platforms within the next 24 hours and offer an unreserved apology to Governor Zulum, his son, and the entire family, or risk legal action. The Governor shall also not hesitate to take legal action against any media outlet that continues to publicise this defamatory information on its platform.

“We would like to inform the public that none of Governor’s Zulum’s son was either arrested or charged with any crime, or involved in any unlawful activities anywhere.

“We urge the public to exercise caution when consuming and sharing information, particularly when it comes from unverified sources and blogs instead of credible media outlets.

“We enjoin all media organisations to engage in responsible journalism of truth and factual verification while recognising the potential harm and psychological trauma the spread of false information might have caused to the Governor’s family.”

 

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Over 600,000 Nigerians sought asylum abroad under Buhari – Report

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Over 600,000 Nigerians filed for asylum in other countries between 2016 and 2023, which were years under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari was President from 2015 to 2023 and handed over to President Bola Tinubu who was sworn in on May 29, 2023, after winning in the general elections the same year.

According to a report released on Wednesday, July 17, 2024, by Statisense, a data collection organisation, of a total of 664,384 in eight years, 355,792 persons sought asylum between 2016 and 2019 while 308,592 sought asylum between 2020 and 2023.

On a year-by-year basis, 66,862 sought asylum in 2016, 91,924 in 2017, 84,624 (2018), 112,382 (2019), 73,233 (2020), 83,105 (2021), 83,402 (2022), and 68,852 in 2023.

The figures indicate a surge from the past years, as Statisense noted that within 12 years – 2004 to 2015 – only 204,791 Nigerians filed for asylum in other countries.

In total, 869,175 Nigerians filed for asylum in the last 20 years, notably from 2004 to 2023.

The report was posted on the organisation’s X.com handle @StatiSense, citing the United Nations Refugee Agency.

In another report shared by the organisation on Wednesday, it was stated that the Republic of Niger topped countries with the most Nigerian refugees in 2023 with about 200,497 Nigerians and a total of 1,268,464 Nigerian refugees between 2015 and 2023.

Niger, a border country, shares proximity with Nigeria’s north, where residents battle a spate of insecurity in the region ranging from banditry, terrorism and herdsmen-farmers crisis.

Another report also revealed that Nigerians topped the list of African countries who sought asylum in Canada in 2023 with about 10,111 asylum seekers followed by Kenya with 1,345.  It stated that 1,345 Nigerians however sought asylum in the United Kingdom and 5,136 in the United States of America.

Source: The Punch

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