Buhari’s nephew, Sabiu Tunde approved naira redesign – CBN investigator

Buhari’s nephew, Sabiu Tunde approved naira redesign – CBN investigator

The Special Investigator on the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and Related Entities, Jim Obazee, has indicated that the redesign of the naira was not e

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The Special Investigator on the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and Related Entities, Jim Obazee, has indicated that the redesign of the naira was not expressly approved by former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Obazee had gathered that the approval came from Buhari’s aide, Sabiu Tunde ‘Yusuf’.

The investigator’s final report tagged, ‘Report of the Special Investigation on CBN and Related Entities (Chargeable Offences)’ submitted to President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday, December 20, revealed this.

President Tinubu had appointed Obazee, a former Executive Secretary of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, as the CBN special investigator in July 2023.

In the report, it was revealed that it was the embattled former CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, in collaboration with Sabiu, implemented the naira redesign.

Sabiu happened to be a nephew to former President Buhari.

Emefiele, currently in Kuje Custodial Centre, is being prosecuted for N1.2 billion in procurement fraud.

The former CBN boss has not been able to perfect the N300 million bail granted him by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory on November 22, 2023.

However, Emefiele might face fresh criminal charges over the handling of the CBN naira redesign policy.

He could be prosecuted for illegal issuance of currency under Section 19 of the CBN Act alongside Tunde Sabiu and the 12 top directors of the CBN.

It was learned that the naira redesign policy was sold to Buhari at the instance of Sabiu and that the initiative was done without the approval of the board of the CBN.

The investigator found that Buhari didn’t approve of the naira redesign. It was Tunde Sabiu who first told Emefiele in September 2022 to consider the redesign of the naira.

Emefiele was said to have contracted the redesign of the naira to De La Rue of the UK for £205,000 under the vote of the head of the Currency Operations Department after Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc said it could not deliver the contract within a short timeframe.

The CBN investigator, Obazee discovered that the CBN Ways and Means was abused under the Buhari administration.

The CBN Act, the Ways and Means provision allows the government to borrow from the apex bank if it needs short-term or emergency finance to fund delayed government expected cash receipts of fiscal deficits.

The CBN and its subsidiary spent about N74.84 billion to produce and roll out currencies, including new naira notes, in 2022.

Despite the scarcity of naira that plagued the country in the latter months of 2022, the CBN spent 40.42 percent more than the N53.29 billion it spent in the preceding year to roll out currencies.