April 21, 2024

Tinubu appoints Obazee to conduct forensic audit of CBN, NNPCL, other government business entities

Oredola Adeola

 

President Bola Tinubu has appointed Jim Obazee, as Special Investigator to conduct a comprehensive forensic audit of activities of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and other key Government Business Entities (GBEs).

 

This was revealed to EnergyDay after President Tinubu’s administration confirmed Jim Osayande Obazee, the Chief Executive Officer, Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), as the investigator.

 

According to a source, President Tinubu is attempting to use the planned investigation of CBN as a decoy to further expose the corruption perpetrated over time by NNPCL and others who may be probed soonest.

 

EnergyDay gathered that Obazee in his capacity as a special investigator will directly report to the President Tinubu. 

 

In a letter dated July 28, Tinubu appointed the chief executive of Nigeria’s Financial Reporting Council as special investigator of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other government-owned entities.

The letter reads, “You are to investigate the CBN and related entities using a suitably experienced, competent and capable team and work with relevant security and anti-corruption agencies to deliver on this assignment.”

 

The investigator was to “provide a comprehensive report on public wealth currently in the hands of corrupt individuals and establishments.”

 

The letter confirming the appointment of Obazee said “the full terms of your engagement as Special Investigator shall be communicated to you in due course but, require that you immediately take steps to ensure the strengthening and probity of key Government Business Entities (GBEs), further block leakages in CBN and related GBEs and provide a comprehensive report on public wealth currently in the hands of corrupt individuals and establishments (whether private or public).”

 

Mele Kyari, Group CEO, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPCL), has been enmeshed in several allegations of corruptions.

 

In April 2023, an online platform published an article alleging that Kyari and the Chief Financial Officer of the corporation had paid themselves billions of naira as gratuity despite still being in service. However, NNPC Limited later released a statement distancing Kyari from the claims, stating that they were false.

In May 2023, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) dropped its probe against Kyari and the CFO due to lack of evidence. Despite the allegations, Kyari remains in his position as Group CEO of NNPC.

 

Obazee, a thorough forensic expert, was sacked in January 2017, by former President Muhammadu Buhari after he was entangled in controversy due to the enforcement of the code of corporate governance law.

 

In January 2017, Jim Obazee, a forensic expert, was fired by former President Muhammadu Buhari after being involved in controversy surrounding the enforcement of the code of corporate governance law

 

During his tenure as the head of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), Obazee made several controversial decisions:

 

In February 2014, the FRC, under Obazee’s leadership, recommended the sacking of the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, which sparked controversy at the time.

The FRC, under Obazee, mandated not-for-profit organizations, including churches and mosques, to comply with the corporate governance code. This included a stipulation that heads of such entities should have a term limit of 20 years.

This decision led to Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), appointing a National Overseer for the RCCG, Joshua Obayemi, as Adeboye had already spent over 20 years as the head of the church.

In October 2015, the FRC, under Obazee, suspended Atedo Peterside as the chairman of Stanbic IBTC and other senior management officials, including the Group Managing Director and chief finance officer. This action was taken due to infractions in the 2013-14 financial statements of the bank.

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