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Many CBN Approvals Under Emefiele Didn’t Have Buhari’s Signature – Presidency

Ajuri Ngelale said that even though President Tinubu supported Buhari’s administration, he has hesitated to disclose to Nigerians things that were not healthy to the economy that happened under his predecessor.


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FILE: Emefiele (L) and Buhari (R) unveiled the new naira notes late 2022

 

The Presidency says many approvals for the release of funds within the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under Godwin Emefiele did not have the signature of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Speaking in an interview with media personality, Chude Jideonwo, aired on Channels Television on Monday night, the Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, said the last administration has to take some responsibilities for some of the things that happened in the apex bank under Emefiele.

“President Bola Tinubu has come out several times in fairness to him (Buhari), to say, ‘Look, this is what happened under the previous administration’. I think we have to acknowledge the fact that he (Tinubu) understands more than anyone that many of the approvals within the CBN that brought us to this point has no signature to President Muhammadu Buhari and had no knowledge of President Muhammadu Buhari,” Ngelale said.

Ngelale said that while Buhari had achievements in other areas such as infrastructure and ease of doing business, his negligence in what was happening in the CBN brought the economy to where it is today.

He said that even though President Tinubu supported Buhari’s administration, he has not hesitated to disclose to Nigerians things that were not healthy to the economy that happened under his predecessor.

“We are not hiding behind the figure on this issue, I think I have been very clear that the prior administration does have to take responsibility for the fact that Governor Emefiele was left in office even though he was inherited and he was given a second term to continue doing what he ended up doing.

“That responsibility and that decision were made by President Muhammadu Buhari irrespective of the fact that President Buhari knew what was going on in the Central Bank of Nigeria. So, there is a responsibility to be taken there, I have to be very categorical about that.

“Now, that does not however mean that you throw the baby out with the bath water. We don’t say because these thing happened in the Central Bank of Nigeria President Buhari  was devoid of achievement or devoid of progressive administration.

“Having infrastructure matters, working on ease of doing business, making sure that people can register a company in 48 hours as against six months before they came into office, these things actually have impacts with the responsibility attracting investments into the country.”

Ngelale cited the $6.2m that was said to have released in cash by the CBN allegedly for the purpose of taking care of foreign election observers as one of those approvals that had Buhari’s signature which turned out to have been allegedly forged.

Emefiele was first appointed as CBN governor by President Goodluck Jonathan but was retained by Buhari who renewed his tenure at the apex bank.

He was removed last June and is standing trial before Justice Muazu on 20-count amended charges bordering on corrupt advantages, conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, forgery and obtaining by false pretenses to the tune of $6,230,000.

He was accused of impersonating a former Secretary General of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, to illegally obtain the sum.

Mid-February, ex-SGF Mustapha testified before the court and said he knew nothing about the transaction up till the time he left office at the end of May 2023, adding that having served for five years and seven months, the document in contention didn’t emanate from the office of the then President Buhari.