Tinubu Appoints Obazee as Special Investigator

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By Isah Aliyu Chiroma

President Bola Tinubu has ordered the investigation of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and related entities with the appointment of a Special Investigator, Jim Osayande Obazee, to carry out the task.

The directive was contained in a letter marked ‘Secret’ and personally signed by President Tinubu.

Obazee is the former Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN).

“In accordance with the fundamental objective set forth in section 15(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), this administration is today, continuing the fight against corruption by appointing you as a Special Investigator, to investigate the CBN and Related Entities. This appointment shall be with immediate effect and you are to report directly to my office.

This indicates that related entities to the CBN are Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL PLC), NIRSAL MFB, Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), Bank of Industry (BoI), Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Nigerian Security, Printing and Minting Company, (NSPMC), Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), Infrastructure Company of Nigeria (INFRACO), Nigerian Commodity Exchange (NCX) and Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).” the statement reads.

Obazee will also, investigate other key Government Business Entities (GBEs) including Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria National Petroleum Company Ltd (NNPCL), National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Nigeria Gas Company Limited, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA) and others.

The letter added, “The full terms of your engagement as Special Investigator shall be communicated to you in due course but, require that you immediately take steps to ensure the strengthening and probity of key Government Business Entities (GBEs), further block leakages in CBN and related GBEs and provide a comprehensive report on public wealth currently in the hands of corrupt individuals and establishments (whether private or public).

“You are to investigate the CBN and related entities using a suitably experienced, competent, and capable team and work with relevant security and anti-corruption agencies to deliver on this assignment. I shall expect a weekly briefing on the progress being made,” the President said in the letter.

It is reported that this development came just as the suspended apex bank governor, Godwin Emefiele, is undergoing trial for alleged illegal firearm possession before the Federal High Court in Lagos.

With this appointment, Obazee who led the team of experts constituted by the Department of State Security (DSS) that began the investigation of the banking industry in December 2022, is now to continue the exercise as well as reorganize the Money House which many believed has strayed from its core functions.

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