Buhari’s signature forged under Emefiele to withdraw $6.2m – Boss Mustapha

Boss Mustapha

Former secretary of the government of the federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha on Tuesday said ex-President Muhammadu Buhari never approved $6.2 million to be paid to foreign observers through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in February 2023.

Mustapha stated this as the fourth prosecution witness in the fraud trial of former CBN governor Godwin Emefiele before the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, Abuja.

Mr Emefiele is being tried on a 20-count amended criminal charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The amended charges border on alleged criminal breach of trust, forgery, conspiracy to commit forgery, procurement fraud and conspiracy to commit a felony.

According to the EFCC, Emefiele’s co-conspirator Odoh Ocheme is on the run.

The agency said that on February 8, 2023, Emefiele connived with Ocheme to obtain $6.2 million from the CBN, claiming that it was requested by the SGF through a letter dated January 26, 2023 with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/.

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Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), Mustapha noted that neither the documents came from Buhari nor his office.

He also denied receiving any amount from the said money.

Mustapha said, “All through my service year as the SGF, I never came across these documents it was claimed that Buhari signed. From the face value of this document, having served for five years and seven months as SGF, this document did not emanate from the president for the following reasons.

“A correspondence that has the seal of the Nigerian president does not carry a reference number. The seal is the authority.

“Secondly, I have looked at it and read, that FEC decisions are not transmitted by letters. They are transmitted through extracts after conclusions are adopted.

“Thirdly, I am the custodian of FEC, the president will not refer executives’ conclusions to me.

“Also, in all the five years and seven months, I have never heard of the terms special appropriation provision referred to. The terms known to me, my lord, are appropriation as provided by the appropriation act normally passed by the National Assembly and when the government file drafts it brings supplementary appropriation.

“In all the correspondences I have received from Buhari, it has never had ‘please accept the assurance of my highest regard’. I am his subordinate, my correspondences do not carry that.

“And lastly, looking at the signature, it is a failed attempt at reproducing Buhari’s signature. I will leave that to the experts.”