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Another Scandal rocks Presidency As Tinubu’s Special Investigator Requests N2 Billion From CBN

Another controversy is brewing in the presidency as a letter addressed to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Yemi Cardoso, by the Chairman of the Special Investigative Committee, Jim Obazee, has surfaced....CONTINUE READING

In the letter dated December 22, 2023, Obazee requested over N2 billion for surveillance, vetting, security, addressing black spots, monitoring hotels, and acquiring vehicles.

President Bola Tinubu appointed Obazee, a former chief executive officer of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, in July 2023 as the special investigator to investigate the CBN and related entities.

Obazee, who was fired by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2017, investigated the CBN under the tenure of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.

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In his appointment letter dated July 28, 2023, President Tinubu said Obazee would also work on a comprehensive report on public wealth currently in the hands of corrupt individuals and establishments.

Part of his job schedule is to strengthen key Government Business Entities (GBEs), block leakages in CBN and related GBEs and provide a comprehensive report on public wealth currently in the hands of corrupt individuals and establishments.

Meanwhile, Obazee’s letter to Cardoso reads in part: “Please refer to our meeting with Mr President (with the Attorney General of the Federation and Honourable Minister of Justice in attendance) on December 20 2023, wherein Mr President directed that I forward my invoice, so far, to you on the ongoing investigation that I am leading.”

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Obazee asked for N750,000,000 for “information sourcing, facts finding, synthesis and vetting.”

The Special Investigator asked for N800,000,000 for “surveillance, black sites, private security and prying eyes.” For “logistics, outstation and team funding,” Obazee demanded N550,000,000.

He also demanded N35,000,000 for “consumables, etc”. The total amount of money requested by the Special Investigator was N2,135,000,000, to be paid into a Premium Trust account number – 0010080287.

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Concerned CBN officials shared a copy of the letter with Sahara

Reporters and questioned the rationale behind the request when the apex bank had already provided for such activities.

One official said, “The duplication of efforts raises concerns about potential redundancy and misallocation of resources.”

“Moreover, there is uncertainty regarding Jim Obazee’s authority to conduct surveillance and investigations, particularly if he needs the credentials of a spy or professional investigator.

“The lack of clarity on the approval process for these tasks and fund allocation is already causing confusion, raising questions about who authorized these activities and why.”