A former Secretary of the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, has hinted that the $6.2 million was withdrawn from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on February 8, 2023, using forged document.
Mustapha, who said he knew nothing about the money which was used to pay foreign election observers, said the document in question did not emanate from the office of the then President Muhammadu Buhari.
This was made known by Mustapha when he appeared on Tuesday, as a prosecution witness in the ongoing fraud trial of the immediate-past CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, before the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, Abuja.
Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), on Tuesday, Mustapha noted that neither the documents came from the president nor his office.
He also denied receiving any amount from the said money.
Mustapha said, “All through my service year as the SGF, I never came across these documents it was claimed that Buhari signed. From the face value of this document, having served for five years and seven months as SGF, this document did not emanate from the president for the following reasons.
“A correspondence that has the seal of the Nigerian president does not carry a reference number. The seal is the authority.
“Secondly, I have looked at it and read, that FEC decisions are not transmitted by letters. They are transmitted through extracts after conclusions are adopted.
“Thirdly, I am the custodian of FEC, the president will not refer executives’ conclusions to me.
“Also, in all the five years and seven months, I have never heard of the terms special appropriation provision referred to. The terms known to me, my lord, are appropriation as provided by the appropriation act normally passed by the national assembly and when the government file drafts it brings supplementary appropriation.
“In all the correspondences I have received from Buhari, it has never had ‘please accept the assurance of my highest regard’. I am his subordinate, my correspondences do not carry that.
”And lastly, looking at the signature, it is a failed attempt at reproducing Buhari’s signature. I will leave that to the experts.”
Recall that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had in its amended charge taken before Justice Hamza Muazu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja accused a former CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, of impersonating the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to illegally obtain a sum of $6.2 million.
According to the amended charge marked CR/577/2023, Emefiele, on February 8, 2023, connived with one Odoh Ocheme, who is now on the run, to obtain $6.2 million from the CBN, claiming that it was requested by the SGF “vide a letter dated 26th January 2023 with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/201.”
According to the EFCC, Emefiele allegedly claimed that the SGF requested the CBN to release “a contingent logistic advance in the sum of $6,230,000.00 in line with Mr. President’s directive.”
The EFCC said Emefiele made the claim despite knowing that it was false “and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(1) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act.”