Efcc Raid On Dangote Office Over Forex Deals: Did Emefiele Squeak On Dangote As Payback For Snubbing EX-CBN Governor In Time Of Need?
Beware the fury of a betrayed friend. A patient, pitiless friend like Godwin Emefiele. The embattled former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may be out for blood amid his trial for fraud and official misconduct during his time as CBN head honcho.
Indeed, revenge is the sweetest morsel to the mouth that ever was cooked in hell. Against the backdrop of the invasion of Aliko Dangote’s office by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), speculations are rife that the man hitherto regarded as Africa’s richest billionaire may have been thrown under the boss by the former CBN boss.
Sources close to the duo revealed that the EFCC’s three-hour invasion and ransack of Dangote’s office and archives, today, may be connected to his rumoured falling out with his ex-buddy and business associate, Emefiele.
The latter had reportedly reached out unsuccessfully to Dangote, from detention.
It is alleged that Dangote persistently snubbed attempts by the ex-CBN governor to get his attention; likewise he reportedly snubbed members of Emefiele’s family who tried to seek his assistance for their breadwinner who is currently facing trial for financial misappropriation, including a major transaction involving Dangote, during Emefiele’s tenure as CBN governor.
Frustrated, Emefiele reportedly started singing like a canary to the anti-graft agency, so doing, implicating a lot of his cronies and associates – many of whom have abandoned him in his hour of need.
Thus when the EFCC operatives stormed the Lagos head office of the Dangote Group to conduct a search on forex allocations to the company during the tenure of Emefiele as CBN governor, many concluded that its Emefiele hacking his pound of flesh of Dangote, who allegedly betrayed him. Dele Oyewale, the EFCC’s spokesman, has also confirmed the development.
It would be recalled that, on June 9, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu suspended Emefiele from office with immediate effect. This was disclosed in a press statement from Willie Bassey, the Director of Information for Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume.
Emefiele’s suspension followed an ongoing investigation of his office and the planned reforms in the economy’s financial sector. Emefiele’s suspension and subsequent trial have been linked to a significant scandal involving the borrowing of $1 billion that occurred just before the inauguration of the new administration of President Tinubu.
Startling revelations emerged, shedding light on Emefiele’s actions in obtaining the funds. It is alleged that on April 24, 2023, after the elections and in preparation for the May 29 inauguration, Emefiele borrowed $1 billion from Afrexim Bank.
Shockingly, within two days of receiving the money, $750 million was swiftly transferred to Aliko Dangote’s Dubai accounts using a Form A transaction.
These revelations have sent shockwaves throughout the nation, raising concerns about integrity, collusion, and potential abuse of power. It is claimed that the Tinubu then the new President-Elect, was kept in the dark about this transaction.
The scale and method of the transaction are deeply troubling. Sources within the CBN suggest that Emefiele sold the dollars to Dangote at an exceptionally low rate of N445 Naira to the dollar.
On April 24, 2023, $1 billion was deposited into the CBN JP Morgan account from Afrexim Bank. Within two days, $750 million was transferred to Dangote’s Bluestar Dubai account using the “Form A” transaction method, bypassing the requirement of a Letter of Credit. Bluestar has had connections to Dangote since 2007.
While some CBN officials expressed concerns about these transactions, the revelations underscore the potential for money laundering and illicit activities within Nigeria’s financial system, casting a shadow on the CBN’s integrity during Emefiele’s tenure.
There is no gainsaying President Tinubu took decisive action by suspending Emefiele and initiating a thorough investigation of his tenure as CBN governor.
Emefiele, who is seeking a plea bargain in the criminal suit filed against him by the federal government is facing a 20-count charge over an alleged conspiracy to carry out procurement fraud, among others.
It would be recalled that both Emefiele and Dangote enjoyed a chummy relationship before Emefiele’s sack and subsequent trial and things went awry between them. Back then, no favour was deemed too much or expensive by Dangote as a means of oiling his relationship with the ex-CBN governor.
For instance, he saw nothing wrong in releasing his private jet, a couple of times, to Emefiele, who enjoyed unrestricted access to the aircraft.
Going about in Dangote’s private jet apparently made work easier for the CBN governor. He did not have to queue to board commercial airlines and he found it extremely comfortable and luxurious to travel in style aboard the aircraft of Africa’s richest billionaire and philanthropist.
Both men are definitely a long distance from that era and they’ve drifted far apart.