Friday, 11 January 2013

EFCC arrests Soludo over currency contract scam



Former CBN Governor, Professor Charles Soludo
A former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Charles  Soludo, was on Thursday arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes  Commission over his role in the Australian polymer banknotes bribery scam which occurred between 2006 and 2008 when he was in office.
The PUNCH was informed by sources in the commission that Soludo arrived the EFCC  Headquarters about 2pm from his Abuja residence and  immediately faced a team of operatives who quizzed him for several hours to ascertain his level of complicity in the scandal.
It was learnt that the decision to look into the polymer deal was followed  a petition by  Human and Environmental Development Agenda.
According to the chairman of HEDA, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, the group’s petition had demanded the investigation and possible prosecution of those involved in the alleged contract scam.
The petition had demanded that both the EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission  pursue the investigation and prosecution as provided by laws establishing both anti-graft agencies.
Sources also indicated that other top management staff of CBN, who had worked with Soludo, were also picked and currently being held alongside other ex-staff of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company.
However, all efforts to get the identities of other  detained suspects  proved abortive, as no one was ready to volunteer information.
It was not clear whether the ex-CBN governor would be remanded at the EFCC detention  as he was still being held as at 8pm on Thursday.
Spokesman for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the arrest, but could not be categorical on whether the embattled former 2010 Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate in Anambra State would be detained or not.
He said, “We have Soludo in our custody and it is part of an ongoing investigation over his involvement in the award of contract and printing of polymer banknotes when he was the Governor of the CBN.”

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