Highlights

CBN HOLDS UP ABR’s INVESTIGATION OF NDDC MD EKERE.

Several months ago, ABR began an open investigation of an allegation which had been making the rounds against Obong Nsima Ekere MD of NDDC. It was alleged that using the company name of the wife of one of his SAs, the CBN had been made to pay out the sum of N400 million under the TSA arrangement. It was alleged that when the money was paid into the SA’s wife’s account, the SA moved the sum of N250 million to the MD. It was December 2016. Some of the rest of the money was later spent on christmas welfare for youths from the different oil producing states of the NDDC.
ABR sought clarification from the MD through text messages but met a brick wall. Since most government agencies had signed on to the Single Treasury Account operated by the CBN, there was no doubt that the CBN could provide comprehensive information about this alleged transaction. There was hardly any detail about the alleged transaction which ABR had not uncovered except the name of the company to which the payment of N400 million was made.
Empowered by the Freedom of Information act, ABR wrote to the CBN Governor to request information and transparency regarding the issue. CBN responded, assuring ABR that the request was being processed. After waiting for two months for further information on the alleged transaction, ABR was directed to Dr. Olaitan, the director of Development Finance at CBN. Every attempt to get Dr. Olaitan to commit to any position on the matter has since yielded nothing.
Why has the CBN developed cold feet over this simple matter of revealing what they know about the transaction? Has the TSA been overtaken by the government corruption that it was created to reduce? How much progress is the president’s anti-graft agenda expected to make without transparency at the CBN? It is not yet late for the CBN to prove that it is a bastion of transparency and rule of law in the president’s war against corruption. People in the Niger Delta are waiting for details of that December TSA pay-out. It would go a long way towards boosting the CBN impact on the war against corruption and defining the man at the helm of NDDC who is also believed to be plotting to be the next governor of Akwa Ibom State.
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