N89trn stamp duty: Buhari gave my committee power to sack Emefiele, Kazaure replies presidency

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Gudaji Kazaure, a member of the house of representatives from Jigawa state, has claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari secretly set up the committee on the reconciliation and recovery of all stamp duties.

 

In a media briefing on Sunday, Kazure said only the president could dissolve the committee in which he allegedly functions as secretary.

 

He said the president gave the committee the power to detain anyone indicted in the N89.09 trillion “stamp duty cover-up”.

 

Garba Shehu, presidential spokesperson, had, on Saturday, debunked Kazure’s N89 trillion missing funds claim, adding that it was “ludicrous that a member of the parliament would claim to be secretary of an executive committee”.

 

Shehu also said Buhari had since dissolved the committee Kazaure was claiming to be the secretary to, but noted that there is another committee, chaired by the attorney-general and minister of justice, set up in June 2020 by the president, which is still executing the task of reconciling stamp duties accounts.

 

“It suffices to say that the entire net worth of the nation’s financial sector, the assets of the banking sector put together, is not worth N50 trillion, not to talk of the kind of money he is talking about,” Shehu had said.

 

“The Central Bank assures that there is absolutely no problem, whatsoever, with money from stamp duties.”

 

But at the news conference on Sunday, Kazaure insisted that his committee must be allowed to present its report to Buhari.

 

“When I raised an alarm that this man (Godwin Emefiele) should not be reappointed as CBN governor because I have some documents that I take to Mr. President directly of almost eight hundred million pounds to investigate how the money came from HSBC bank,” Kazaure explained.

 

“President (Buhari) said he would investigate, but they went and told Mr. President lies, convincing the president not to listen to me.

 

“Mr. President is one man that when you take a matter to him, he will ask you if what you are saying is the truth between you and Allah. Mr. President appointed this man because some people around him are not telling him the truth.

 

“The President will not go out and see it with his eyes because he relies on paper and information available to him. It is whatever they write for Mr. President that he relies on because he will ask you that between you and your God is that true, and when you say is true, he will then ask you to progress, which is why when I informed him about these charges (stamp duty charges), he was disappointed in the CBN Governor, that is why he created this committee.

 

“He (Buhari) gave me the power, gave the committee [the] power to remove the CBN governor, investigate him and detain him to ensure all this money is recovered into the federal government account.

 

“So, even when Mr. President reappointed him, it was based on paper because he did not know what was happening.

 

“Mr. President is a good man with a good heart. The people that brought that paper to Mr. President assured him that this man would work, and that is why he reappointed him.”

 

Kazaure claimed that the committee compelled Emefiele to honour the committee’s invitation through a letter written by the Department of State Services (DSS).

 

He said the CBN governor was detained for four hours until he was released on administrative bail.

 

Kazaure added that if the money is recovered, it would help the federal government to pay off its debts, finance the budget, and meet other financial obligations without resorting to borrowing.

 

“When the President see this N89 trillion, he was happy and approved this committee. He said, ‘thank God, we will liquidate all the national and international debt. We will implement our budget and keep money for the next government to come and we will add to our foreign reserve’. That was essence of taking it (the report) to the President, and he is happy,” he added.

 

THE COMMITTEE’S RECOMMENDATION

Meanwhile, in the interim report made available to journalists, the committee recommended the suspension of the CBN Governor.

 

Kazaure said the committee has flagged the funds ($171.0 billion) in CBN’s private investors account.

 

It also flagged funds recycled as loans to some banks, N13 trillion; and funds “recycled as FMDQ debt to FGN: N23.3 Trillion”.

 

To allow full investigation, the committee suggested the following:

 

a. The CBN governor proceeded on leave immediately, while DSS leads a full investigation into the three CBN accounts (above).

 

b. EFCC chairman to submit its report on the three CBN accounts (above) as reported by FGN agent, to DSS immediately.

 

c. Finance minister to open the stamp duties central account that you approved for all recovery balances in many accounts.

 

d. SGF to submit the 2018 FGN agent’s report on stamp duties, and his 2020 inter-ministerial report to DSS immediately.

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