Court documents have unveiled the intricate details of how $6,230,000, allegedly stolen from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on February 8, 2023, was distributed and invested. The funds, which were purportedly withdrawn under the pretense of paying election observers, were reportedly shared among various individuals and invested heavily in real estate.

The special presidential investigative team, led by Jim Obaze, who probed the tenure of the former CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, detailed the alleged heist in their findings. Emefiele is currently facing trial on a 20-count amended charge brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which accuses him of criminal breach of trust, forgery, conspiracy to obtain by false pretence, and obtaining money by false pretence during his time as the central bank chief.

The investigation revealed that the theft was an inside job, primarily involving CBN officials with the complicity of two external individuals, Adamu Abubakar and Imam Abubakar. According to the court documents, Odoh Eric Ocheme, Emefiele’s personal assistant, received $3,730,000, while the remaining $2,500,000 was divided among three others. Ocheme justified his substantial share, claiming it was needed to settle other interests within the CBN.

One affidavit, filed alongside an extradition charge against Adamu Abubakar, Imam Abubakar, and Odoh Eric Ocheme at the Federal High Court in Abuja, details the investigators’ findings. The three suspects are believed to be at large and are suspected to have fled the country, prompting the initiation of extradition proceedings.

Deputy Superintendent of Police, in his affidavit, provided extensive details of the investigation’s progress. He stated, “We obtained copies of the withdrawal slip, CBN memos dated 07/02/2023 and 31/01/2023, the staff identity card of Jibril Abubakar, and letters dated 2/01/2023 purportedly written by Muhammadu Buhari to Boss Mustapha, and dated 20/01/2023 purportedly written by Boss Mustapha to Godwin Emefiele.”

Further investigation revealed that the letters purportedly from the offices of the President and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) were fake. Additionally, Jibril Abubakar, whose identity card was used for the withdrawal, was not an employee of the SGF’s office. CCTV footage from the day of the cash withdrawal on February 8, 2023, showed that Jibril Abubakar could not be identified by either CBN or SGF staff, raising suspicions about his true identity.

The CCTV footage also captured Abdulmajeed Muhammad, a CBN staff member, receiving the impostor at the bank’s gate. Muhammad admitted, in a statement on December 15, 2023, that he had unknowingly facilitated the impostor’s entry into the CBN, having been referred to him by Bashirudeen Maishanu, a senior CBN staff member.

Muhammad disclosed that before February 8, 2023, Maishanu had instructed him on the procedures for public officials withdrawing cash from the CBN, purportedly on behalf of the SGF and the President. The investigation also involved visiting the Kuje Correctional Centre, where Emefiele denied approving any memos authorizing the payments.

The investigation led to the arrest of several CBN staff who denied involvement in the crime. However, Bashirudeen Maishanu later confessed to his role and implicated Adamu Abubakar, Imam Abubakar, and Odoh Eric Ocheme in the crime. Maishanu disclosed that the stolen $6,230,000 was split among them, with Maishanu, Abubakar, and Imam Abubakar receiving $2,500,000, while Ocheme retained $3,730,000 for settling interests within the CBN.

Maishanu revealed that they invested N1.44 billion (approximately $3.5 million) in real estate through Afrolyk Global Ltd, managed by Aminu Lawal, who has been arrested and confirmed the investment. Lawal has refunded $200,000 to the investigative team. Additionally, Bashir Maishanu returned $400,000 from his share.

The investigation also identified the third defendant, Odoh Eric Ocheme, as Emefiele’s personal assistant. Adamu Abubakar and Imam Abubakar are businessmen and associates of Maishanu.

The documents underscore the complexity of the heist and the ongoing efforts by law enforcement to recover the stolen funds and bring the culprits to justice.


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