EXCLUSIVE: Tinubu Under Pressure As Chief Of Staff, Gbajabiamila Is Indicted In Corruption Probe Of Ex-Central Bank Gov., Emefiele, AMCON Boss, Kuru

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Sources told SaharaReporters on Monday that Gbajabiamila was fingered as one of the beneficiaries of the largesse of corruption uncovered under Ahmed Kuru, the Chief Executive Officer of the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.

President Bola Tinubu is currently under pressure over his Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila’s alleged involvement in corruption. 

Sources told SaharaReporters on Monday that Gbajabiamila was fingered as one of the beneficiaries of the largesse of corruption uncovered under Ahmed Kuru, the Chief Executive Officer of the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.

The Special Investigator, Jim Obazee’s report, exposed how Gbajabiamila benefitted from Ahmed Kuru’s “largesse of Ikoyi properties from his days as Speaker of the House of Representatives,” according to top sources in the presidency.

One of the sources told SaharaReporters that Gbajabiamila in return had ensured Kuru remained as AMCON’s Chief Executive after about nine years. 

Already, fresh information has emerged about how Godwin Emefiele and Ahmed Kuru, the AMCON CEO conspired in gross abuse of office to acquire banks of choice using public funds to fraudulently take over Polaris, Keystone and Unions Banks.

SaharaReporters obtained the Special Investigator’s report on the probe of Emefiele which uncovered the alarming sums of public funds which went into the fraudulent acquisition of the banks under Emefiele and AMCON under Kuru’s leadership.

SaharaReporters on January 10 reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) dissolved the board and management of Titan Trust Bank, Union Bank, Polaris Bank and Keystone Bank.

This followed a report submitted to President Bola Tinubu by the Special Investigator on the Central Bank of Nigeria and Related Entities, Jim Obazee.

It was reported that the decision to dissolve the boards was taken after a meeting between the CBN Governor, Yemi Cardoso, Obazee and the boards of the four banks including Titan Trust Bank’s investors who had earlier avoided meeting with the Special Investigator.

SaharaReporters reported in December 2023 that the office of the Special Investigator had insisted that the Chairman of Titan Trust Bank (TTB), Mr Tunde Lemo, Mr Cornelius Vink and Rahul Savara must appear before it over the acquisition of the Union Bank of Nigeria.

Meanwhile, on Monday, SaharaReporters learnt that Obazee’s investigation uncovered a scheme by Emefiele (CBN) and Ahmed Kuru (AMCON) that placed N20 billion investment in Heritage Bank sometime in 2017 upon which the bank granted a loan of N25 billion to the Sigma Golf Consortium of Emefiele, Kuru, Abu Funtua, Asega Alega with Umaru Modibbo (as front) to acquire Keystone Bank.

Investigations by the special investigator exposed how the N25 billion government fund was roundtripped from Heritage Bank to Access Bank and ended in GTBank, where it was purportedly transferred to AMCON/CBN as payment for the acquisition of Keystone Bank by the Riverbank Sigma Golf Consortium.

It was learnt that in an unusual and unpredictable turn of events, the Presidential and CBN directive to sack the Boards of Union, Keystone, and Polaris Banks, took the Riverbank Signa Golf Consortium by surprise.

Independent financial investigations revealed that Ahmed Kuru threw all others under the bus to save his neck by blackmailing all government officials who had benefitted from his generosity through the sharing of Ikoyi and Abuja properties.

A forensic observer noted that the special investigator’s report that did not indict Kuru raised concerns over whether it was deliberate as a result of a bargain.

“President Bola Tinubu is under pressure from some political associates, whom Kuru has soiled their white robes including the Hon Femi Gbajabiamila (President’s Chief of Staff), who has benefitted from Ahmed Kuru’s largesse of Ikoyi properties from his days as Speaker of the House of Representatives,” a source in the Aso Rock said.

The source noted that “Gbaja had persistently blocked Ahmed Kuru’s removal as AMCON’s Chief Executive after about 9 years in office, over two terms of a democratically elected President.”

An independent investigator sharing an opinion indicated that “It is clear that the only organ of government that has resources for criminal and forensic investigation of economic and financial crimes is the EFCC. The Jim Obazee Special Investigating team has only managed to point to areas of infractions but has not succeeded in forensic tracing and following of the money. It can only be strategic that the government hand all the cases over to the EFCC, remove Ahmed Kuru from office and switch around a few Directors in the Central Bank who without doubt may be complicit with Godwin Emefiele in this criminal conduct.

“Otherwise, with those actors in positions, they will continue to obstruct the investigation. You can see the limitations of the Presidential Special Investigators in the CBN establishment. Otherwise, Yemi Cardoso (incumbent CBN Governor) will remain in an invisible walled hostage environment of Emefiele’s network in the CBN, as Gbaja has surrounded the President with whispers of half-truths.”

Efforts to reach Gbajabiamila and Kuru failed as they did not answer their calls or reply to the text messages sent to their mobile lines. 

About the author

Abiodun Adisa is the CEO of Applaud Multimedia Services Publisher of Applaud News Magazine and Online @www.applaudnews.com.ng

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