Alleged $6.3mn Theft: Nigerian govt asks INTERPOL to hunt Emefiele’s alleged conspirators

The Nigerian government has requested the assistance of the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) to hunt and arrest three defendants in the alleged withdrawal of $6.2 million from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last year through a forged document.

The office of the Special Investigator of the CBN, Jim Obazee, made the request on Monday after obtaining an order of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The office, through a letter by its head of operations, Eloho Okpoziakpo, named the defendants as Adamu Abubakar, Imam Abubakar and Odoh Ochene.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had earlier charged Mr Ochene, who is at large, alongside former CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, before the Federal High Court in Abuja with stealing the said sum under the presence that it was requested by the presidency to pay international election observers.

The anti-graft agency alleged that on 8 February 2023, Mr Emefiele connived with Mr Ocheme to obtain $6.2 million from the CBN, claiming that the money was requested by the then Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha “vide a letter dated 26 January 2023 with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/.”

The anti-graft agency also alleged that Mr Emefiele, in January 2023, forged a document titled: “RE: PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE ON FOREIGN ELECTION OBSERVER MISSIONS,” dated 26 January 2023 with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/201.

In the letter to INTERPOL, the office of the special Investigator of the CBN requested the international police agency to “watchlist” and place the three alleged fugitives on its “red notice” with a view to arrest and repatriate them.

The special investigator had earlier obtained a warrant of arrest for the three men from the Federal High Court through a motion ex-parte it filed on 18 January.

In support of the application to INTERPOL, the police have also filed a six-count charge required to activate the process of hunting and arresting the wanted men.

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