A Federal High Court in Ibadan, on Friday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to produce the 106 boxes, containing the N900 million allegedly stolen by two workers of Zenith bank PLC.
NAN reports that the EFCC charged Bolade Ajuwan and Samuel Ogbiede alongside six Central Bank officials.
Specifically, the apex bank employees were alleged to have compromised the CBN’s Briquette exercise, by stealing huge sums of mutilated higher denomination Naira currencies meant to be exchanged for new notes.
The other bankers allegedly acted as accomplices to the crime and also helped themselves to a sizeable chunk of the money.
When the charges were read to them, they pleaded not guilty.
Justice P.I. Ajoku of the Federal High Court, gave the order after an EFCC witness, Saliu Kadir , testified alongside two CBN officials; Kolawole Babalola and Muniru Olaniran.
The EFCC said that each of the 106 boxes was meant to contain N10 million of N1000 denomination, instead, they were found to be containing interleaves and lower denominations such as N100, N50, N20 and even ordinary papers.
The judge adjourned the case until Dec. 2 and Dec. 3 for continuation of trial.
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Group urges Buhari to restrict importation of roofing sheets, others
The Federal Government has been advised to adopt policy framework that will lead to the restriction of importation of goods such galvanized roofing sheets and other steel products that are abundantly produced in Nigeria to further boost the nation’s economy.
With the land border closure, it is evident that agricultural sector of the Nigerian economy has improved, therefore, it is a tested hypothesis that if adequate attention is given to the seaports operations, smuggling will be tackled and the steel sector will be saved from collapse.
The Galvanized Iron and Steel Manufacturers’ Association, (GISMA) in a statement signed by its Spokesperson, Mr. Lateef Bello, on Wednesday noted that the boarder closure has brought more economic benefits to the nation.
GISMA noted that the revenue declared by the authority of Nigeria Customs Service, (NSC) is commendable stressing that more can still be achieved through holistic approach to the ongoing smuggling of roofing sheets and other steel products.
According to the statement, “For President Muhammadu Buhari to actualize the many targets as contained in the 2020 appropriation bill presented before the joint session of National Assembly, there is need to place absolute restriction on items made in Nigeria. At the moment, it is saddened to note that smuggled roofing sheets of low standards have flooded Nigerian markets at the detriment of local manufacturers and unsuspecting consumers.
“Going by the experience of some emerging economies in the world such as Malaysia and Singapore, no items produced in these two countries are allowed to be imported and the restriction policy has accelerated their Gross Domestic Product, (GDP) as well as their security techniques.
“It is important to take comparative advantage of this policy to further relief Nigerians of the sufferings and unemployment persisting in the nation. Iron and Steel industry if well protected, is capable of generating an average of 20,000 jobs yearly with significant turnover on the Internally Generated Revenue for the government.”
The group however appealed to President Buhari to take bold steps towards salvaging the economic interest of local manufacturers as well as curbing insecurity which has ravaged some states in the North-East. This was part of our public outcries during a peaceful protest held recently in Kaduna; we thank Mr. President for heeding to our plights.
“In as much as we want to encourage President Muhammadu Buhari to beef up more surveillance on Nigerian Boarder Control System, it is pertinent for the federal government and other relevant agencies to ensure that importation of goods are carried out through Premier Ports with full documentations and follow-ups”, he added.
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