Two authentic telephone audio tapes exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters reveal how the Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Godwin Emefiele and some of his senior executives would cover up the loss of over N500billion stolen from the CBN in a private Dubai investment that flopped, according to sources from the apex bank.
The audio tape shared online claims that Emefiele and his Deputy Edward Lametek Adamu alongside the Director for Finance in the apex bank, Dayo M. Arowosegbe as well as one of the Special Advisers to the CBN Governor, Emmanuel Ukeje, were discussing on how to conceal the loss made with the shareholders’ funds from commercial banks, the monies were reportedly diverted to invest in Dubai to the tune of N500 Billion sometimes towards the end of 2018 and they reportedly lost that investment.
Emefiele is heard saying in the audio to the deputy governor Adamu:
“To avoid any serious problem is just, the government to have to agree to give us at least 100 billion cash but the government will not agree.They will kick against it”. Expressing fear over what the opposition will say about the loss of the money which will slip Nigeria into hard times, the CBN governor can be heard in the audio saying: “How do I handle this? to which the deputy governor replied “we have to rack our brain and do something out because we can’t afford it at all, not at this time. Emefiele replies “the implication for the economy is, no no, no”.
Emefiele repeatedly lamented the hopelessness of a way out of the problem:
“I’ll have to think of a way out because we cannot afford it at all. “The implications are just too many to even think about and damaging. We cannot allow this like this, we cannot” he said.
In the discussions captured on tape, top financial officers at the CBN blamed one Arowosegbe and at several points contemplated cooking up the books, discarding several ideas. At some point in the conversation, they plotted to ask the federal government for the shortfall through the Ministry of Finance but decided against it to limit outside exposure.
As the conversation went on they didn’t know what to do to avoid a negative balance sheet for the shareholders’ fund entrusted to the apex bank. SaharaReporters sources at the CBN say Mr. Emefiele and others in the bank eventually found a way out of their dilemma by diverting funds in possession of the CBN and also printing hard cold cash.
Ever since Mr. Emefiele, a former Managing Director of Zenith Bank of Nigeria, was appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan to head the CBN in June 2014, there has been reports that the Central bank Governor has engaged in a series of financial scams including foreign currency manipulation, money laundering and roundtripping to favor a group of politically exposed persons close to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Here is the full transcript:
Lady: Sorry Sir.
Lady: It’s the network sir.
Man: Ahh …my God. Let me talk to Arowosegbe.
Lady: Hold on the line sir.
Arowosegbe: Hello sir!
Governor: Yeah… So, can we think of anywhere across both ends where we can, you know, push things or either move things from CAD or other places, bring it back, you understand? or delay, anything.
Arowosegbe: I’m looking at it, the maximum that I can negotiate is N20 billion on TIA because that’s the one we’ve not paid that we’ve approved for So… because I’m with the account that’s the…(voice fades)
Governor: Oh, the cash…deal?
Arowosegbe: Yes sir.
Arowosegbe: That’s 18 because there’s an 18 for and then there’s this 2 billion which is for something to be done for the EFCC. Like I said, they’ve taken it as …. So, that’s the maximum we can get from expenses.
Governor: Any other vote head you can find? I have gone through all the vote heads no material at least my personal expenses just increase by over 1billion in the past one year and I think we can’t go into that so.
Governor: Now, what’s our shareholders hold? (pause) It’s 34.
Governor: Ehnn? 34 Billion…three four, thirty-four.
Governor: You can see, It’ll take …that’s another problem, wow!
Arowosegbe: Sir, try with the DG and Ukeji as well.
Man: Let me call the DG. Okay
Edward: Hello sir.
Governor: I didn’t know you were there with Ukeji.
Edward: No, I’m here, we’re here.
Governor: *Takes Deep Breathe* Enn…
Edward: We’re packing our… bonus. We were thinking of all available options.
Man: Option of 34 billion but if we put this number there it will change our shareholders’ form to negative which is dangerous.
Edward: Yes, yes. We can’t do that one that will be dangerous, Hmmn!
Governor: What do we do?
Edward: …can we get the finance ministry to take some off? Even if it’s just for the record?
Governor: How can they take it now? Take what now precisely?
Edward: Even if it’s just to do some book work.
Governor: That will expose us to them.
Edward: That’s the only way.
Governor: Okay, what do we want finance to do in this case?
Edward: Well, the thought was that, we do some discussion with them, If they can just write saying the government will but it hasn’t maybe appropriate or something.
Governor: They can’t try that because national assembly and government, they have to go to the federal executive council to do that.
Edward: They have to go to Federal executive council, wow!
Governor: Ahhh… damned!
Edward: I even said we should look at the ratio but there’s pretty much nothing we can do here …I don’t have an intervention, that’ll not work and we can’t afford negative… (inaudible)
Edward: We cannot afford deficit governor, no way!
Governor: How do we get out of this is the issue …because the auditors themselves will be very careful because they have people who redo their account.
Edward: Exactly, they also have their names and their own governance process might not allow them to do some of these things.
Hold on for Ukeji sir.
Ukeji: Governor sir.
Governor: Yeah. I’ve been thinking of all the options because the omo asset which is the box …the money has been paid and bank has recognized that amount in their income and naturally the auditors were also asked for confirmation to confirm. Because initially we had about 150 billion which was what was paid in December then the initial thought was to look at the heavy edge that bought into that but we also realize that they had their end of the year in December so they would have recognized that and I was just asking Mr Arowosegbe about our S-Rate gain, the rate they used for this year is said to be already 354 which is already very high.
Ukeji: Yes, because if not we would have increased that closure maybe by just 1 naira or 2 naira that will change the whole thing.
Governor: The first time in history…negative shareholder.
Ukeji: No..no, no. We thought about that because we were looking at how much the revenue is because the issue with it is we made so much revenue and we spent everything, where did we get the money that we were spending…It’s not going to work, not at this time. We’re still looking…if we’re able to see about 20 billion they still have to discuss with the. So, after 20 billion how much will be left? (pause) 120 hundred and ten, that’s still a lot because we still need a minimum of hundred and fifteen now for this to move
Governor: Ahh…God! Let’s take this on Governor we’ll get back to you. Okay.
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