Nigeria and Interpol chase 3 who stole $6.2m using forged Buhari's signature

Nigeria has launched an international manhunt, enlisting the support of Interpol, to apprehend three suspects allegedly involved in a daring $6.2 million theft from the central bank.

Nigeria seeks Interpol's help to arrest 3 suspects who forged Buhari's signature to steal $6.2m from central bank

The culprits are accused of orchestrating the audacious crime by forging the signature of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Authorities assert that the trio collaborated with Nigeria's former central bank chief, Godwin Emefiele, who is already embroiled in a legal battle facing 20 charges, including the illegal receipt of the embezzled funds. Emefiele, who staunchly refutes all accusations, has been released on bail pending trial.

In a significant development, Boss Mustapha, a senior figure in ex-President Buhari's administration, testified in court, affirming that neither he nor Buhari authorized the withdrawal of the $6.2 million. Mustapha discredited the signature on the document, labelling it as a feeble imitation of Buhari's signature. He stated, "Looking at the signature, it is a faint attempt at reproducing [former] President Buhari's signature," and when shown the document used to withdraw the funds, he emphasized that it "did not emanate from the office of the president."

The fraudulent withdrawal allegedly occurred just before the conclusion of Buhari's term, purportedly at the behest of the former president to finance payments to foreign election observers. However, investigations revealed that the document was falsified, and the funds were illicitly siphoned from the central bank vault.

Emefiele, appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014 and subsequently reappointed by Buhari in 2019, has vehemently denied any involvement in the scam. He has characterized the allegations against him as "barefaced lies told by the investigator in order to achieve his satanic agenda." Emefiele has called for a "thorough and transparent investigation."

The other suspects implicated in the heist, Adamu Abubakar, Imam Abubakar, and Odoh Ocheme, a former central bank employee, are believed to have fled Nigeria, prompting the government to solicit Interpol's assistance in their capture and extradition.

The case has drawn significant attention as it marks one of the most high-profile corruption trials since President Bola Tinubu assumed office last May. Prosecutors continue to pursue the matter rigorously, emphasizing the need for a transparent investigation to uncover the truth behind the elaborate scheme that defrauded Nigeria's central bank of millions.

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