CBN dismisses staff implicated in N6.5 billion fraud

Posted by News Express | 1 June 2015 | 4,584 times

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has summarily dismissed some of its staff implicated in a mega scam involving the theft and recirculation of defaced and mutilated currencies. It has also placed others on indefinite suspension. CBN Director, Corporate Communications, Ibrahim Mu’azu, disclosed this in a statement issued this afternoon in Abuja and made available to News Express by e-mail.

News Express had yesterday broken the story of the forthcoming arraignment, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), of Patience Okoro Eye (Abuja), Afolabi Olufemi (Lagos), Kolawole Babalola (Ibadan), Olaniran  Muniru Adeola (Ibadan), Fatai Yusuf, Adekunle (Head, Security, CBN, (Ibadan) and Ilori Adekunle Sunday (Akure), alongside 16 other suspects drawn from various commercial banks who were found to have conspired with the CBN executives to perpetrate the fraud. The amount involved is over N6.5 billion and the suspects are to be docked by EFCC before a Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State, from Tuesday, June 2, to Thursday June 4.

Mu’azu in the statement described the suspects as “unscrupulous staff,” disclosing that it was the Management of the CBN that handed them over to the EFCC for prosecution.

According to him, “During a routine internal audit of the Bank’s Cash Destruction activities in September 2014, the CBN Briquetting Panel comprising Senior Bank Staff from different branches noticed some anomalies at the Ibadan Branch, and immediately reported this to the Bank’s Management. On further investigation ordered by the Governor, it was discovered that a systematic scheme, which has been on for several years, was being run in which mutilated higher denomination notes originally meant for destruction were swapped with lower denomination currencies. This practice known as interleafing, basically labels a box with a higher value than its true content.

“As soon as the Bank’s internal investigations concluded beyond reasonable doubt that some wrongdoing had occurred, the affected members of staff who are middle-level officers were, depending on gravity of offence, either summarily dismissed or immediately placed on indefinite suspension on 21 October 2014, and all handed over to the EFCC for further investigation and prosecution. The CBN has also conducted a nationwide audit of all 37 branches of the Bank and found that this was an isolated scheme at Ibadan Branch. The Bank will continue to collaborate with the EFCC to ensure that affected CBN staff, as well as their accomplices in some commercial banks, are brought to justice.”

•Photo shows CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele.

Source: News Express

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