The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has apprehended five top officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and 16 others for alleged currency fraud of about N8 billion.
This was made known via a statement issued by EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren.
Uwujaren revealed that the suspects connived to recycle defaced notes which were meant to be destroyed by substituting the notes with newspaper cuttings in Naira note sizes, adding that the suspects would be arraigned at the Federal High Court, Ibadan, Oyo State, on Tuesday, June 2, 2015.
He said: “The Economic and Financial Crime Commission has concluded arrangement to arraign in court, five top executives of the Central Bank of Nigeria implicated in a mega scam involving the theft and recirculation of defaced and mutilated currencies.
“The suspects, drawn from various business units of the apex bank, are to be docked by the anti-graft agency before a Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State, from Tuesday June 2, 2015 to Thursday June 4, 2015. The remaining 16 suspects are drawn from various commercial banks who were found to have conspired with the CBN executives to swing the heist.
“All the suspects, who are currently in the custody of the EFCC, are now ruing the day they literally allowed greed and craze for materialism to becloud their sense of judgment and responsibility, when they elected to help themselves to tonnes of defaced Naira notes.
“Instead of carrying out the statutory instruction to destroy the currency, they substituted it with newspapers neatly cut to Naira sizes and proceeded to recycle the defaced and mutilated currency.”
“The fraud is partly to blame for the failure of government monetary policy over the years as currency mop up exercises by the apex bank failed to check the inflationary pressure on the economy.
“The lid on the scam, which is widely suspected to have gone on unchecked for years, was blown on November 3, 2014, via a petition to the EFCC, alleging that over N6, 575, 549, 370.00 was cornered and discreetly recycled by light fingered top executives of the CBN at the Ibadan branch.”