… Threatens to Sue US Based Organisation
A coalition of civil society groups, Conference of Harmonised Civil Society Organisations has said the allegations of corruption levelled against the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and her officials by a US based group, Young Professionals Forum are mere fabrications and an attempt to demarket the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Speaking on behalf of the CSOs at a press conference in Abuja, Rev Solomon Semaka, Convener, Save Nigeria Movement explained that investigation by the taskforce revealed that the petitioners made no efforts to get clarifications on issues from the CBN before making its allegations and sued for caution.
Recall that the CSOs had set up a taskforce headed by Rev Solomon Semaka of the Save Nigeria Movement following allegations of corruption against the apex bank and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for illegal diversion of $24,263,008.56 by a US group, to investigate and come up with a report on the exact situation without fear or favour.
“In the cause of our findings, we discovered that all the allegations leveled against the Central Bank Of Nigeria were premeditated, concocted and represents an indisputable definition of wild speculation precipitated on blackmail , and a coordinated smear campaign against the CBN Governor and the institution.
“The Young Professional Forum has the right to fact check every information with the CBN using the freedom of Information Act (FOI). As Nigerians, to resort to blackmail, intimidation and smear campaign against the highest financial regulatory authority of our their country why sitting outside the shores of Nigeria is to say the least a very shameful and unpatriotic act”,. he taskforce maintained.
It further described as unfortunate the petition by the group saying it was unpatriotic for Nigerians to team up with enemies of the country outside to demarket the country and its institutions.
” What exactly is the motive of the organisation’s haste in writing to the US Congress Speaker even before writing to the Nigerian Parliament. Is this not simply to demarket the Nigerian state and ridicule the nation?
“On the allegations of the illegal diversion of $24,263,008.56 by CBN and NNPC, the task force maintained that no such fund ever existed let alone diverted.
“We wish to further enlightened the Nigerian public that the forex market as highlighted in those allegations was already been run by some individuals and organizations in line with CBN regulations before the assumption of duty of the current leadership. And the market value is well above ($800M).
“To therefore continue to drop the names of Alh Isa Funtua, Maman Daura, Nasir Danu, Lawan Daura, etc to paint a picture of an illegal cartel against the country is very shameful, despicable and unpatriotic, the task force maintained.
“To confirm that, the allegation of the award of thirty billion naira contract to Bullet Construction was emotional, light weight and of no effect. Firstly, Bullet construction can do jobs anywhere in Nigeria, including at the CBN. The company is very qualified and above all competent. Or does the group prefer foreign companies as always? Or should Nigerians suspect a sponsorship from a rival foreign company? This calls to question the credibility of the purpose and intent of the US based group against the CBN.
“We have resolved as the watchdog of the society to always hold governments accountable to communicate our findings to Nigerians and the US Congress just for record purposes. Our resolution 112 is to write to the US Congress to disregard the allegations against the CBN by the Young Professionals Forum in New York”.
The CSOs further urge the group and any other Nigerian who has issues with operations of any agency in the country to make use of nation’s anti corruption agencies such as EFCC and ICPC to get things done rather than resort to black market and short circuits formulas.
“By this, and in the interest of our national image, we here pass a vote of confidence on the CBN Leadership .
“We furthermore , give the group and her leader, Mr Jackson Ude (14 days) to retrieve those publications against the CBN and above all apologize to Nigerians or face legal action”, the group added.