Femi Falana, a Human Rights Activist, on Thursday again questioned the management of the Central Bank of Nigeria under the leadership of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo.
It will be recalled that Falana had petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on allegations of criminal diversion of public funds from the Federation Account and the nation’s Foreign Reserves.
Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, also accused Soludo’s CBN management of illegally transferring $7 billion to 14 commercial banks in 2006, an allegation he had since denied and described as laughable.
In denying the allegation, Soludo said Falana’s outburst was based on ignorance of how the apex bank was run.
But in counter response to Soludo’s denial, Falana again said the statement issued by the CBN management on the subject matter on October 3 buttressed his point.
Falana said: “For the avoidance of doubt, I wish to reiterate that it was the management of the CBN which claimed to have given out its own “share”of 7 billion dollars from the foreign reserves estimated at 38 billion dollars at the material time.
“Is Professor Soludo insisting that CBN under his management was entitled to any “share” of the nation’s foreign reserves?
“In any case, whether it was a deposit or its own share of the foreign reserves, did the CBN ever announce that the deposit had been paid back to the foreign reserves which belong to the three tiers of Government?
“If there is nothing to hide why did the CBN ignore the request of the Civil
Society Network Against Corruption for information on the “deposit” of 7 billion dollars?”
Falana said that in his petition to the EFCC, he had alleged that the CBN also gave a bailout of N600 billion to commercial banks in 2008 and provided intervention funds of trillions of Naira to captains of industry.
He said that CBN also paid N2.5 trillion for fuel subsidy in 2011 when the national assembly had appropriated N245 billion.
Falana stated: “As far as Soludo is concerned, these allegations are laughable and betray a lack of knowledge of how a bank such as CBN works.
“Since the allegations of gross mismanagement of public funds are laughable, are we to believe that these were deposits as well or the share of the CBN mismanagement under his predecessor?
“Has AMCON not been set up to recover those loans and deposits running to several trillions of Naira? For goodness sake, how does a CBN work outside the ambit of the Constitution and the Central Bank Act, 2007?”