N8bn scam: syndicate operates in CBN – Witness

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Mutilated N200 notes to be destroyed by the CBN
Mutilated N200 notes to be destroyed by the CBN

By Olawale Akinremi

A witness in the case of alleged N8 billion CBN  currency scam on Tuesday said that there was a syndicate at the Ibadan branch of  the apex bank behind the fraud.

Mr Edwin Ennah, a retired Head of Currency Processing and Disposal Unit, said that he discovered that some people were replacing cut newspapers and lower denominations with N1,000 that were supposed to be destroyed.

Testifying before Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel, Ennah said that since  he reported his discovery in 2013 no investigation had been  conducted by the branch.

Ennah added that his investigation revealed that there were 11 boxes which were supposed to be containing N10 million each of N1,000 denomination,  totalling N110 million.

These, he added,  were replaced with either lower notes or newspapers cuttings.

The witness stated that CBN lost over N65 million in that singular incident.

He further said that upon the discovery that there was a mix of cut newspapers and lower denominations in the boxes sent by Sterling Bank, he asked the bank to send their representatives to witness the inspection of their boxes.

Ennah said that he was, however, surprised that the bank declined response until he reported the matter to the CBN office in Abuja.

He said that it was the intervention of the headquarters of the apex bank that compelled the Ibadan branch to comply and begin the inspection of the boxes.

Meanwhile, the fifth accused person, Emmanuel Ordia, on resumption of trial filed a bail application on grounds of ill health.

The prosecution counsel, Adebisi Adeniyi, prayed the court to reject the arguments adduced by the defence counsel, A. Adebayo.

Ayo-Emmanuel adjourned ruling on the bail application and further trial to Wednesday.

It would be recalled that Kolawole Babalola, Muniru Olaniran, Kayode Togun, Ibrahim Salami and Emmanuel Ordia along with others had  since 2015 been standing trial over multiple charges.

The charges border on conspiracy, conversion, forgery, stealing and re-circulation of mutilated notes to the tune of N8 billion.

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