The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] has dismissed as untrue and mischievous the rumours that N900 million turned to paper at their custody.
The antigraft agency in a statement said the news was a gross misrepresentation of the Federal High Court, Ibadan, Oyo State directive that the EFCC produced the N900m in court.
Explaining its position in a statement on Monday the EFCC said the mutilated naira notes were never in the custody of the agency.
The EFCC said:
The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has been drawn to several online reports alleging that about N900 million (Nine Hundred Million Naira) of mutilated naira notes, being subject of prosecution at the Federal High Court, Ibadan, and kept in several boxes in EFCC’s custody has turned to paper. The report is very mischievous and a gross misrepresentation of facts of the matter.
It is imperative to note that the case was reported to the EFCC by the CBN in 2015 and the parties involved are currently in court.
In the course of investigations, EFCC operatives visited the CBN office in Ibadan to inspect the said boxes and discovered that the monies had been tampered with. This discovery was what informed the EFCC’s involvement in the case, resulting in the interrogation of suspects and subsequent prosecution.
At no point were the boxes of the mutilated naira notes taken to the office of the EFCC.
Count one and two of the charge against the suspects reads:
“That you Patience Okoro Eye; Afolabi Olufemi Johnson; Ilori Adekunle Sunday; Kolawole Babalola, Olaniran Muniru Adeola and Fatai Adedokun Yusuf on or about 5th August, 2014 in Ibadan within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, have by virtue of abuse of your office, being employees of Central Bank of Nigeria, contributed to the economic adversity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria when you destroyed a box marked ” Counted Audited Dirty” filled with Newspapers in place of a box containing N10,000,000 (Ten Million Naira) of N1,000 denomination and which activity led to the increase of money in circulation which the briquetting exercise of Central Bank of Nigeria was intended to control and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 1(2) (b) and Section 10 (1) of the Recovery of Public Property (Special Provision) Act, Cap. R4, Laws of the Federation Nigeria, 2014″.
Count Two reads:
“That you Patience Okoro Eye; Afolabi Olufemi Johnson; Ilori Adekunle Sunday; Kolawole Babalola, Olaniran Muniru Adeola and Fatai Adedokun Yusuf on or about 5th August, 2014 in Ibadan within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, engaged in corrupt practices when you replaced the content of a box of N1,000 denomination in a total sum of N10, 000,000 (Ten Million Naira) marked as ” Counted Audited Dirty” meant for briquetting, with Newspapers and which sum you converted to your own use and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 1(2) (a) and Section 10 (1) of the Recovery of Public Property (Special Provision) Act, Cap. R4, Laws of the Federation Nigeria, 2014″.
At the last hearing, the Court mandated the EFCC to present them (the boxes) at the next hearing as evidence. This is a clear departure from the mischievous accounts of naysayers who erroneously misinterpreted the position of the court to claim that the boxes were tampered with by the EFCC!
Members of the public are hereby advised to ignore such disinformation, as it is only being spread to cause harm, unnecessary sensationalism and create doubt in the minds of citizens.
The media is hereby advised to always seek clarifications on information before spreading fake news.
Meanwhile, Mayowa Onabanjo, the kingpin suspect in one of the cases and former staff of Zenith bank is wanted and currently at large.
Any useful information by members of the public on the whereabouts of this individual should be reported to the EFCC offices nearest to you or via email: [email protected]; the hotline (08093322644) or any of our social media pages: @officialefcc.