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Obaze Report accuse ex-CBN governor Emefiele of unlawful acquisition of banks

Special Investigator Recommends Reversal of Union Bank and Keystone Bank Sale, Urges Government Takeover

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In a damning report from a special investigation into the Central Bank of Nigeria’s activities, the immediate past governor, Godwin Emefiele, faces accusations of using ill-gotten wealth through proxies to acquire banks, including Union Bank of Nigeria and Keystone Bank. The findings urge the federal government to overturn the sale of these banks and take control.

Submitted by special investigator Jim Obazee, the report alleges that Emefiele employed proxies to acquire Union Bank for Titan Trust Bank Limited and Keystone Bank without providing evidence of payment. The investigation reveals that these banks may have been acquired using questionable means.

The report, presented to President Bola Tinubu, follows earlier revelations that Emefiele allegedly lodged billions of naira in public funds in over 593 bank accounts across the United States, the United Kingdom, and China without proper approvals.

Emefiele, currently facing prosecution for N1.2 billion procurement fraud and held in the Kuje Custodial Centre, is under scrutiny for the alleged acquisition of Union Bank and Keystone Bank through questionable means.

Obazee, in his letters to the President, states, “We discovered that some persons were used as proxies by Mr. Godwin Emefiele to set up Titan Trust Bank and acquire Union Bank therefrom, all from ill-gotten wealth.” The investigator asserts that they are on the brink of recovering these banks for the federal government.

The investigation delves into the acquisition of Union Bank by Titan Trust Bank, where Titan Trust Bank sought CBN’s no-objection for a proposed consolidation. The CBN granted approval, and the investigation continues to unfold details of the acquisition process.

Further revelations expose that TTB is owned by Luxis International DMCC and Magna International DMCC, purportedly based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. However, attempts to verify their corporate status in Dubai failed, raising concerns about their eligibility to operate or acquire a bank in Nigeria.

The report discloses that TTB is allegedly associated with a mysterious shareholder believed to be Emefiele. The investigator calls for the recovery of TTB and UBN by the federal government, emphasizing the need for transparency and adherence to regulations in these financial transactions.

On the alleged acquisition of Keystone Bank by Emefiele through proxies, the investigation reveals a complex web of financial transactions, internal loans, and alleged pressure exerted by Emefiele during his tenure as the CBN governor. The report questions the integrity of the acquisition process and calls for the recovery of both Keystone Bank and Polaris Bank by the Federal Government.

The special investigator is set to interrogate the AMCON managing director on various acquisitions, including Polaris and Keystone banks, Arik Air, Aero Contractors, and the financial reporting practices of AMCON. The report suggests that Keystone Bank, like Polaris Bank, might have been acquired for free.

Emefiele’s legal counsel, Matthew Bukkaa, SAN, has yet to comment on the allegations leveled against his client. The unfolding investigation raises critical questions about the stewardship of public funds and financial institutions during Emefiele’s tenure as the CBN governor

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