Secretary of the Presidential Committee on Reconciliation and Recoveries of all Stamp Duties, Muhammad Gudaji Kazaure, has described the recent policy of naira redesign by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as part of a grand scheme to distract Nigerians.
Kazaure, whose committee is investigating certain activities of the apex bank, made the allegations flanked by heavily armed security personnel while addressing a press conference over the weekend.
According to him, “when we started this committee, that’s when the CBN decided to redesign the naira to distract the Committee. The bank also creates different issues to stop the investigation.
We invited the CBN governor to come and explain to the Committee the whereabouts of N89.1 trillion. We also invited all the CEOs (Chief Executives) of 27 banks in Nigeria. In the invitation letter, we attached a worksheet that would contain information on Stamp Duty Charges from 2013 to date. But unfortunately, the CBN asked the banks not to appear before our committee.”
Kazaure, who represents Kazaure, Roni, Gwiwa, and Yankwashi Federal Constituency, at the conference, alleged that a cabal in the Presidency was doing everything possible to prevent his committee from making headway in the investigation. He accused the National Assembly of being in the CBN governor’s pocket, Godwin Emefiele.
“Again, before the date set for the CBN governor’s appearance, he arranged with cabals on how to prevent him (the CBN governor) from appearing before our committee. After their meeting, I received a letter from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation suspending the activities of our committee.
What surprised me from the purported letter, however, was that it was signed by one Dr Habibat Lawal, a retired permanent secretary in the SGF Office and Special Adviser to the President on Policy and Coordination. How can the Adviser to the President write a letter on behalf of the SGF? Why didn’t SGF write the letter himself?” Kazaure queried.
“When I saw the letter, I quickly replied to Mrs Lawal, informing her that she violated the presidential directive because the president has told us our chain of communication is the DSS. Interestingly, I got a response from the CBN governor just a day after the letter from Mrs Lawal. The CBN governor informed me that he couldn’t appear before the committee due to the dissolution of the committee via a letter from the SGF office,” he added.
For the lawmaker, to his surprise, the CBN governor was not copied in the purported letter from the SGF office.
“How did the CBN governor receive the letter and reply using the same reference?
After the purported dissolution of the committee, Rep. Kazaure said he sought the intervention of the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo Olu, to find out if the president authorised the committee’s dissolution.
“But the governor said that after meeting the president, he (Buhari) informed him that he didn’t order the dissolution of our committee. He said the president subsequently called the SSS DG to inform him that we should continue with our investigation.”
“Emefiele pleaded for bail alleging health issues”
Upon clarification from the president, Rep. Kazaure disclosed that the committee had invited Emeifele again using the Department of State Services (DSS) letterhead. After being grilled for over 4 hours, the CBN governor pleaded for bail to allow him to attend the IMF meeting and his health.
“He appeared before the committee at the DSS office, and we grilled him for 4 hours. We were about to detain him when he started panicking and pleading to be allowed to take his drugs and attend the IMF meeting.
He was subsequently granted administrative bail with a promise that he would support the committee investigation. We have also invited all the deputy governors of the banks and the MDs of all 27 commercial banks,” he stressed.
Expressing his frustration, the lawmaker lamented that despite the committee’s effort to bring economic relief to the nation, some unpatriotic elements have resolved to block him from submitting the progress report of the committee to the president.
He specifically accused the State Chief of Protocol (SCOP), Lawal Kazaure, of leading the charge, pleading with the president to prevail on the SCOP to allow him to submit the interim report.