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Nigerian Authorities Seek Interpol Help in $6.2M Central Bank Theft Case Linked to Buhari’s Signature

Alleged $6.2 Million Theft: Nigerian Court Hears Case Involving Former President's Signature.

Nigerian authorities are seeking Interpol’s assistance to apprehend three suspects who are believed to have conspired with the former central bank chief, Godwin Emefiele to allegedly steal $6.2 million from Nigeria’s central bank using a forged signature of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Emefiele, who is already facing trial on 20 charges, including the illegal receipt of the $6.2 million in question, has denied all allegations and is currently out on bail. Prosecutors claim that Emefiele unlawfully authorized the release of the money from the central bank vault.

The alleged accomplices of Emefiele are Adamu Abubakar, Imam Abubakar, and Odoh Ocheme, a former central bank employee. The suspects are reported to have left Nigeria, prompting authorities to seek Interpol’s assistance in their arrest and repatriation.

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The theft allegedly occurred several months before Muhammadu Buhari’s presidency ended. The government ordered the arrest of the suspects shortly after a senior official in Buhari’s administration testified in Emefiele’s trial. The official stated that neither he nor Buhari had authorized the withdrawal of the $6.2 million.

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The signature on the document used to withdraw the funds was described as a “faint attempt” at reproducing Buhari’s signature and was confirmed not to have originated from the office of the president.

The funds were withdrawn in cash in January of the previous year, prior to the end of Buhari’s term. Prosecutors allege that Emefiele falsified the document to request the funds from the central bank, purportedly for paying foreign election observers.

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Emefiele was initially appointed as central bank governor in 2014 by then-President Goodluck Jonathan and later reappointed by Buhari in 2019. He held the position until President Tinubu took office.


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