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Hot Seat: Nigeria’s Central Bank’s Top Brass to Account for N32.5 Billion Allegedly Misappropriated

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ABUJA, Nigeria – The House of Representatives has summoned the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, over alleged payments of about N32.5 billion to two companies, Messrs GSCL Consulting and Biz Plus, without any formal documentation.

Other key officials invited include the Auditor General for the Federation, the Accountant General of the Federation, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Managing Directors of Exxon Mobil, Nigeria Agip Oil Company, among others.

They have been asked to testify before an ad hoc committee investigating the alleged disappearance of 48 million barrels of crude oil.

The summons was announced on Monday, June 5, 2023, during the resumed investigative hearing, chaired by Hon. Mark Gbillah.

Gbillah expressed dissatisfaction with Shell Petroleum Development Company for not providing satisfactory responses to the committee’s inquiries, claiming the questions were unclear.

Bashir Jamoh, the director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, informed the committee of an outstanding $1.7 billion judgement sum owed to the Federal Government by a company found guilty of making false declarations concerning the crude oil it extracted from the country.

Gbillah revealed that records show the Central Bank made payments of N16.5 billion each to the two aforementioned companies on the same day, and that the companies withdrew the amounts within two months.

The committee seeks clarification from the apex bank regarding the payments, especially as the immediate past Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has denied knowledge of the transaction.

Gbillah asserted that all companies and agencies summoned by the committee have a responsibility to respond to the summons.

He warned that despite the 9th House winding down, it can still issue a bench warrant for their arrest if they fail to comply.

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