Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, testified on Tuesday in the trial of Godwin Emefiele, the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Mustapha stated that neither he nor former President Muhammadu Buhari authorized the disbursement of $6,230,000 to international election observers.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accuses Emefiele of forging a document titled: “RE: PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE ON FOREIGN ELECTION OBSERVER MISSIONS,” dated 26 January 2023 with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/201. The amended charge, marked CR/577/2023, alleges that Emefiele, in February 2023, collaborated with Odoh Ocheme, who is currently evading arrest, to obtain $6.2 million from the CBN under the guise of a request from the SGF.
Under questioning by Rotimi Oyedepo, Mustapha claimed he was unaware of the transaction, even after leaving office in May 2023. He only became aware of the matter in December 2023 following its publication in the press.
When shown the documents which purportedly emanated from the office of the president, the former SGF said: “on the face value of the document, I can say having served five years and seven months, this document did not emanate from the office of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Disputing the authenticity of the letter from the president, Boss said “a correspondence that carries the seal of the president of Nigeria does not carry a reference number. The seal is the authority”.
“The Federal Executive Council (FEC) decisions are not transmitted by letters. They are transmitted through extracts after conclusions are adopted, I am the custodian of the record of FEC, for that reason, the president cannot refer any executive conclusion to me. All the years I have served, I have never heard of the term “special appropriation provision”.
The two terms known to me are appropriation as provided for by the Appropriation Act passed by the national assembly. The second is when the government finds a gap, it brings a supplementary appropriation.
“In all the correspondences I have received from Buhari, it has never had ‘please accept the assurance of my highest regard’. I am his subordinate, the signature is a failed attempt at reproducing President Muhammadu Buhari’s signature. But I will leave that to the experts.”