The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have arrested six top officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and 16 other workers of commercial banks in the country over a mega scam involving the sum of N8 billion.
The suspects, Patience Okoro Eye( Abuja) , Afolabi Olufemi( Lagos), Kolawole Babalola( Ibadan), Olaniran Muniru Adeola(Ibadan), Fatai Yusuf, Adekunle( Head, Security, CBN, (Ibadan) and Ilori Adekunle Sunday,(Akure); were picked up by operatives of the anti-graft agency for stealing and putting into circulation defaced and mutilated Nigerian currency notes to the tune of N8 billion meant for destruction.
The suspects who are already in the EFCC custody, will be arriagned before the Federal High Court, Ibadan on June 2 for a trial that will run till June 4.
A statement signed by the Head of Media of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, revealed that the 22 suspects who colluded with the CBN officials to commit the fraud are officials drawn from Zenith Bank, FCMB, Wema Bank, Access Bank, First Bank, Skye Bank, Ecobank and Sterling Bank.
The officials helped themselves with the mutilated N8 billion cash and burned old newspaper in place of the defaced Naira notes thereby making a mockery of the CBN rule relating to such money.
But the suspects ran out of luck when one of the bank officials petitioned the EFCC alleging on November 3, 2014 that over N6, 575, 549, 370.00 was cornered and discreetly recycled by light-fingered top executives of the CBN at the Ibadan branch.
The suspects, who were members of the Briquetting Panel, which handles the destruction of defaced notes from commercial banks, decided to play a fast one on the nation but ran into a hitch for the first time.
In banking parlance, Briquetting is disintegration and destruction of counted and audited dirty notes. By this practice, depositor banks usually take mutilated notes to the CBN in exchange for fresh notes equivalent of the amount deposited.
But while carrying out the assignment, the team were alleged to have found one of the currency boxes filled only with old newspapers rather than 20 bundles of N1000 notes.