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Lawyer urges EFCC to probe Buhari’s cabinet members – Punch Newspapers

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Human rights lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to probe all cabinet members and appointees who served during the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari, the immediate past president, served a two-term of eight years from 2015 to 2023.

In a statement on Friday, Olajengbesi, who is the Managing Partner of Abuja-based law firm, Law Corridor, said the probe had become imperative with the startling revelations arising from the trial of ex-Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.

According to him, there is a need for the EFCC to audit the financial transactions of all officials of government who served under former President Muhammadu Buhari.

He also commended the EFCC for exposing the alleged forgery of Buhari’s signature and that of ex-Secretary General of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, by the embattled former apex bank boss, who is enmeshed in a $6.2m fraud for foreign observers in the last poll.

Olajengbesi said, “The audacity of those in power and their criminal influence is becoming too much and must be stopped.

“The EFCC must not stop at just the former CBN Governor Godwin, Emefiele, but should carry out an entire audit of principal actors who served under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari. There should be a deterrent for bad behavior.

“Again, the case of the suspended Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Rural Electrification Agency, Ahmad Salihijo over alleged N1.2bn fraud is fresh, and a pointer to the gross abuse of power by those who served under Buhari.

“Emefiele and all those who served under the Buhari adminis8⅞ÿÿtration should be properly audited and given a chance to clear their names as the corruption that manifested under that government is gargantuan.”

Already, three witnesses have testified against Emefiele with the latest being an EFCC official and a forensic document examiner, Bamaiyi Haruna, who told the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama on Thursday that his analysis of some documents used to release $6.2m from the CBN in February 2023 showed that the documents were forged.

The other witness was ex-SGF Mustapha, who also told the court that neither he nor ex-President Buhari were aware of the $6.2m, adding that Buhari’s signature was forged to move the money out. The third witness was a deputy director at the apex bank,  Onyeka Ogbu.

The EFCC, on June 18, 2023, arraigned Emefiele on amended 20 counts, in which he was accused of impersonating Mustapha to illegally move $6.2m from the CBN vault.

In the charges, the EFCC alleged that on February 8, 2023, Emefiele connived with one Odoh Ocheme, who is now on the run, to obtain $6.2m from the CBN, claiming that it was requested by the SGF “vide a letter dated 26th January 2023 with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/”.