ukpakareports.com – New information recently made available to a correspondent of Ukpakareports.com in Abuja indicate that the renewed and aged old brouhaha over the possible indictment and thus removal of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN] in the person of Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo revolved principally around the blood relationship existing between Tunde Ogunsakin [Chief of Operations, EFCC] and Adebisi Omoyemi [deposed Managing Director of WEMA Bank].
As Ukpakareports.com learnt through well placed sources within the corridors of power in Abuja, Tunde Ogunsakin who serves as the Chief of Operations for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] overzealously hunted after the Governor of CBN during the period he served as the head of the committee panel investigating the $480million which was invested by the CBN in November 2007 into the newly formed African Finance Corporation – for reasons anchoring on personal vendetta harbored towards the Governor of CBN following the sack and embarrassing arrest of his cousin Adebisi Omoyemi from the Managing Director position at WEMA Bank.
It is recalled in January 2008, Adebisi Omoyemi was sent on forced leave by the CBN to pave way for wide-ranging investigations into the affairs of WEMA bank during his initial two-year tenure at the helm of affairs. This was following investigation carried out by the Forensic auditors from the CBN and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation into several issues raised in petitions from bank staff and other stakeholders in the pervious year – included the mode of sale of Wema Bank shares previously held by the Odua Group; loans administration procedure; contracts award processes; purchase of official vehicles; and a controversial N450m housing grant awarded to Adebisi Omoyemi, [the then managing director]. And, Omoyemi in response had accused the CBN top man of instigating a witch-hunt against him.
Following the CBN led investigation, the embattled Managing Director of Wema Bank Plc, Mr. Adebisi Omoyemi, was arrested on Wednesday March 26th 2008 in Abuja and brought to Lagos by officers of the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police Force for questioning over allegations of forgery and granting unsolicited credit facilities – he was held at the SFU’s Club Road, Ikoyi, Lagos office. It was also discovered that Omoyemi’s arrest was sequel to a complaint by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation that he and the Secretary to the bank’s board, Mr. Biodun Ogunlade, allegedly conspired to alter minutes of some board meetings held in early late February 2008. But further investigation revealed that the said N450 million was a loan Adebisi Omoyemi applied for and took on the approval of the Board of the bank. Sources indicate that the money was traced to an account in Federal Mortgage Bank where Adebisi Omoyemi deposited the money awaiting the time he would find a suitable house to buy in Abuja.
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Interestingly, in a manner considered somewhat coincidental and/or suspicious, a presidential 5-man committee panel was setup on April 14, 2008 [only two weeks after the arrest of Adebisi Omoyemi] and headed by Tunde Ogunsakin who was then charged to investigate the affairs of Africa Finance Corporation [AFC]. The committee was mandated to ascertain the source of authority for the withdrawal of the sum of $480 million in respect of the purchase of equity in ACF by the CBN and determine whether there was relevant authorization by the National Assembly or the President for the investment. The committee was to also determine the percentage equity holding of each investor and determine the representation of Nigerians on the board of the corporation.
The investigating committee immediately, according to inside sources, turned into a witch hunt by the deputy police commissioner. An interim report by the panel had earlier alleged that Soludo illegally printed N58 billion to purchase the $463 million equity investment in the AFC. But it was later discovered that the N58 billion was withdrawn from the Foreign Operations Department Naira Deposit Account to purchase the dollar equivalent.
Three months later as the presidential committee concluded their work and presented the official report to Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Chief Michael Aondoakaa (SAN), at the minister’s office on July 22nd 2008. The head of the panel, Tunde Ogunsakin faulted the formation and funding of the corporation.
According to Tunde Ogunsakin, “The committee has made several findings in regards the role of the CBN, its functionaries as well as other persons and institutions in the setting up and funding of the AFC. We have made necessary recommendations, arising from our findings, in order to ensure that the mistakes we have identified are not repeated.” Tunde Ogunsakin continued, “There is no doubt, however, that we have also had to apportion blame to individuals for their actions/inaction that led to what we consider certain avoidable steps in the formation and funding of the AFC”.
The panel report continues to add: “In respect of the interest generated on the CBN investment since it was made (USD11,370,350.00), the Committee recommends that Professor Chukwuma Soludo and Mr. Austine Ometoruwa should be directed to take immediate steps to retrieve from the AFC the clear interest generated on the CBN investment of $462 million since it was made on November 22, 2007. As noted above, this amount has already been computed by the AFC as amounting to USD11,370,350.00 (Eleven Million, Three Hundred and Seventy Thousand and Three Hundred and Fifty United States Dollars) ‘less expenses”.
Ogunsakin’s team in their witch-hunt assignment reported that Prof. Soludo’s decision to make himself Chairman of the Board of AFC, in his personal capacity, contravened Section 9 of the CBN Act under which he could be the Chairman only in his official capacity and, therefore, recommended that he should step down. In the words of the report, “Even if the Federal Government decides to continue its participation in the AFC, he should step down from the Chairmanship of the Corporation in his personal capacity as Section 9 of the CBN Act allows him to hold such a position only in his official capacity”.
The report also added that, “The Committee in its findings established that the AFC was neither incorporated under the Companies and Allied Matters Act (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004) nor as an international institution pursuant to the procedure spelt out in the Treaties (Making Procedure, etc) Act, LFN 2004. It is, therefore, at best, an entity still in formation, and at worst, an illegal entity.”
However, Ogunsakin’s panel report, in its quest to unleash what clearly amounted to a misappropriated attempt at revenge on the CBN governor for the arrest of the WEMA Bank MD, failed to note that the formation of African Finance Corporation was approved by the Obasanjo regime via the formation of an exploratory committee on January 14th 2006 then followed by the formation of an implementation committee on May 25th 2007.