BUSINESS

FG To Takeover Banks Allegedly Bought By Emefiele 

 

The federal government has said it will take possession of two banks that were allegedly bought at a major discount by former Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele, according to a report by a special investigator appointed by President Bola Tinubu.

“We have completed our investigation on this acquisition and we are on the verge of recovering these two banks for the federal government,” the report said.

Emefiele was suspended shortly after Tinubu took office in late May, and was later arrested and detained on charges including fraud. The Nigerian leader subsequently ordered an investigation into the monetary authority’s operations and instructed it to work with security and anti-corruption agencies.

He met his bail conditions and was released Saturday, Punch Newspapers reported, citing a correctional spokesperson.

The former central banker acquired two banks including Union Bank of Nigeria and Keystone Bank through several proxies from “ill-gotten wealth” and “without evidence of payment,” according to the report by Jim Obazee submitted to the president and seen by Bloomberg.

A preliminary review of the cases showed that Keystone was “acquired for free,” according to the report.

“Some persons were used as proxies with the connivance and assistance of Godwin Emefiele and the CBN to acquire” the two banks.

Emefiele has denied wrongdoing. His lawyers declined to comment on the investigation’s findings and a government spokesman did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

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