© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Nigeria’s Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele briefs the media during the MPC meeting in Abuja, Nigeria January 24, 2020. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde
ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu has appointed a financial watchdog to investigate the central bank, weeks after he suspended its governor, a copy of a letter from the president showed on Sunday.
Tinubu on June 9 suspended Godwin Emefiele, who was then detained by state security agents for allegedly misappropriating funds and a “criminal breach of trust.” Emefiele last week appeared in court to deny illegally possessing a firearm and ammunition.
In a letter dated July 28, Tinubu appointed the chief executive of Nigeria’s Financial Reporting Council as special investigator of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other government-owned entities.
The letter said the investigator should make weekly reports to the president.
“You are to investigate the CBN and related entities using a suitably experienced, competent and capable team and work with relevant security and anti-corruption agencies to deliver on this assignment,” Tinubu said.
The investigator was to “provide a comprehensive report on public wealth currently in the hands of corrupt individuals and establishments.”
A presidency source confirmed the authenticity of the letter.
Tinubu’s spokesperson Dele Alake did not immediately comment.
Tinubu has embarked on the country’s boldest reforms in decades, including removing a popular but costly fuel subsidy and lifting restrictions on foreign exchange trading, a gamble which he hopes will boost growth.