Emefiele Investigation: 20 banks, other companies face EFCC probe over forex deals

…Inquiry to cover 9-yr period

The probe instituted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) into the use of foreign exchange by some companies and financial institutions under the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele is to be spread to at least 20 banks, sources close to the commission have said.

VoL was reliably informed, at the weekend, that the probe, which has seen operatives storm corporate offices of Dangote Group and some others would be extended to at least 20 commercial banks, while some merchant banks would also be investigated.

The source said that the investigation would span at least nine years, adding that commercial banks, merchant banks and some other companies are being investigated

“I cannot say how the media got the figure of 52 companies, but they are quite a number. This is a general investigation on the use of foreign exchange in nearly the past nine years and it is not an isolated case targeted at a particular company,” a source said, adding that a whole lot of issues are being looked and the issue of forex is ringing bell because of its implication for the national economy.”

The source also added that the EFCC was looking into allocation of foreign exchange to friends and associates of Emefiele by the former CBN governor.

Another source said that the EFCC got Emefiele released to it by the Department of State Services (DSS) in October, and since then a lot of investigations have gone into his activities at the helm of affairs at the CBN, adding that what is ongoing is an all-encompassing investigation into the roles of banks and financial institutions as well as heavy forex users around the time in question.

He, however, said that the paucity of information of the matter so far was as a result of the need for the EFCC to avoid being accused of media trial and that the commission was carefully perusing all documents needed to make conclusive deductions.

“What is happening is a general investigation into forex allocations under Emefiele. It is not intended to embarrass any corporation or agency,” a source close to the Commission stated.

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