By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
ABUJA—Indications have emerged that the former Central Bank Governor, Professor Charles Soludo and the former Managing Director of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company, NSPMC, Ehi Okomoyon, may be charged to court over their roles in the printing of polymer notes.
Already, the embattled former MD, who was forced to resign from the company over missing N1.2 billion printed notes, has been found to have a case to answer by a team that investigated him over the polymer notes scam.
At a briefing in Abuja, Monday, the Head of Media and Publicity, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed that the former Managing Director had been indicted by the panel that probed him and his activities.
He said all those found to have played roles in the scam would be charged to court.
On the participation of former Ekiti governor, Ayodele Fayose, in the forthcoming gubernatorial election when he was facing graft charges from the commission, Uwujaren said the agency did not have the power to stop him from contesting the poll.
He said as a body bound by laws, the agency would continue to assume that every accused is innocent until declared otherwise by the court.
The commission said it was wrong for Nigerians to accuse it of not stopping the former governor from running in next week’s poll, saying that it was left for the Independent National Election Commission, INEC, to decide if its laws permitted it to stop accused persons from contesting elections.
That notwithstanding, Uwujaren declared that the trial of Fayose would continue despite his entry into the Ekiti governorship race.
On when the former Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Odua, who was removed in the wake of the controversial acquisition of bullet proof cars worth N225 million, Uwujaren said the commission was still investigating the woman and asked Nigerians to await the outcome.
He said: “Princess Stella Odua’s matter has not been closed. She was not the only person invited for interrogation.
“Other officials of aviation parastatals came along and were duly quizzed by our officers. Nigerians will get to know what we are doing about the case soon.”
Uwujaren said that the former Kwara State governor, Bukola Saraki, who is now a Senator, was being investigated over the way he ran the defunct Societe General Bank of Nigeria Limited and the management of loans he obtained from banks during his tenure as governor.
Foreign media on alleged CBN scam
It will be recalled that an Australian newspaper had reported that a currency company, Securency, paid N750 million in bribes to some officials of CBN between 2006 and 2008 to secure the contract to make polymer notes for Nigeria.
The report stated that the company channelled the bribes through two British businessmen for onward delivery to the beneficiaries.
Apart from the former CBN boss, many officials of the Finance Ministry and a former president were named as beneficiaries of the bribes for the polymer notes, which are being phased out by CBN.
The apex bank now claims the polymer notes are not as durable as the paper notes.