Nigeria: Former President Buhari’s signature forged to withdraw $6.2 million

Abu Mubarik February 15, 2024
Muhammadu Buhari. Photo: Chatham House/Flickr/Wiki

The signature of Nigeria’s former President Muhammadu Buhari was allegedly forged to steal $6.2 million from the country’s central bank, according to the BBC. In this regard, Nigeria has enlisted the support of Interpol to help arrest three suspects in connection with the alleged crime.

It is believed that the suspects conspired with Nigeria’s former central bank chief Godwin Emefiele, who is standing trial on 20 charges, including illegally receiving the $6.2m although he has denied all the charges.

Emefiele has described the allegations as “barefaced lies told by the investigator to achieve his satanic agenda.”  In a statement, he called for a “thorough and transparent investigation.”

Nigerian prosecutors say Emefiele is standing trial because he unlawfully authorized the release of the money from the central bank vault. He is the first high-ranking official to stand trial since President Bola Tinubu took office last May.

According to the state-owned News Agency of Nigeria, Adamu Abubakar, Imam Abubakar and Odoh Ocheme have been named as Emefiele’s alleged accomplices. They are believed to have since left Nigeria, prompting the authorities to seek Interpol’s help with their arrest and repatriation, the agency noted.

The government ordered the arrest of the accomplices late Tuesday after Boss Mustapha, a senior official in ex-President Buhari’s administration, testified in Emefiele’s trial. Mustapha said he and Buhari never gave their signatures to approve the withdrawal of the $6.2m.

The Nation newspaper quoted Mustapha as saying, “Looking at the signature, it is a faint attempt at reproducing [former] President Buhari’s signature” He further added that the document used to withdraw the funds did not “emanate from the office of the president.”

The funds in question, according to reports, were withdrawn in cash in January 2023, a few months before Buhari’s term ended, purportedly to be used by the president to finance payments to foreign election observers. However, investigations revealed that the document was falsified, and the funds were siphoned from the central bank vault.

Emefiele was first appointed governor of the central bank by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014 and subsequently reappointed by Buhari in 2019.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: February 15, 2024


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