Soludo hits back, says Falana’s allegation he diverted $7 billion ‘blatant lies’

Charles Soludo, Former Governor,  Central Bank of Nigeria
Charles Soludo, Former Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria

A former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Chukwuma Soludo, hit back Saturday after a senior Nigerian lawyer, Femi Falana, accused him of unlawfully “doling” $7 billion of Nigeria’s reserves to banks as loan.

Mr. Falana said the amount was never recovered.

The former CBN chief dismissed the allegation as “ignorant” and “blatant lies”, and demanded evidence or an apology.

“I largely ignore such ignorant commentaries,” he said in a statement. “However, Femi Falana is one of the Nigerians I deeply respect, and I am sure many Nigerians also hold him in very high esteem. I was therefore shocked beyond belief that someone like him could fabricate and peddle blatant lies.”

Mr. Falana had urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to investigate alleged “criminal diversion or withholding” of government funds by the CBN, under Mr. Soludo and his successor, Lamido Sanusi.

The lawyer said Mr. Sanusi, who is the Emir of Kano now, gave another unrecovered N600 billion as bailout to the same banks.

He also accused Mr. Sanusi of illegally paying N2.5 trillion instead of N245 billion to fuel marketers as subsidy. Mr. Sanusi denied the allegation and said he was ready to face investigations.

Mr. Soludo, who left the CBN in 2009, said throughout my tenure, Nigeria never lost one penny of the reserves.

“From the above quotation, Falana alleged that I “removed” $7 billion from Nigeria’s external reserves and gave same as a “loan” to 14 Nigerian banks in 2006, and apparently such a “loan” has not been recovered. This is a blatant lie and I challenge Falana to publish the details of such a “loan” which remains unpaid or as a person with honour, publish a retraction and unreserved apology immediately,” Mr. Soludo said.

Mr. Soludo said one of the legacies of his tenure as CBN Governor was the highest rate of reserve accumulation in Nigeria’s history as well as its effective and efficient management.

“On assumption of office, I met exactly $10 billion in foreign reserves. With average monthly oil price of $59 during my tenure, we accumulated reserves to all time high of over $62 billion. Even after paying off Nigeria’s external debt with $12 billion and facing unprecedented global financial and economic crisis, I still left $45 billion upon leaving office in 2009,” he said.

“Throughout my tenure, Nigeria never lost one penny of the reserves. It is particularly important to note that even during the global financial crisis of 2008/2009 when major international banks collapsed and some countries lost some of their reserves, our prudent management ensured that Nigeria never lost a penny but earned returns on the reserves. Given the powerful interests that I fought during the consolidation of banks and even since I left office, one can only imagine the international headlines that would have been made if just one penny of the reserves was unaccounted for.

“That under the provisions of the CBN Act as well as the guidelines for the management of foreign reserves, it is impossible for anyone to ‘remove’ any sum of money from the reserves and give out as “loan” to commercial banks in Nigeria. To qualify as ‘foreign reserves’ such reserves are held in foreign currency abroad as deposits with banks or in sovereign instruments such as the US treasury bills,” he said.

Mr. Soludo said he would be at any time to respond to any questions regarding his stewardship at the CBN.

“I have come to terms with the fact that part of the burden one bears for having held public office in Nigeria is that one has to endure all kinds of uninformed and sometimes mischievous attempts to malign one’s character,” he said.


DOWNLOAD THE PREMIUM TIMES MOBILE APP

Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD:DIABETES Is CURABLE! Don't Let It Threaten You! To NORMALIZE Your Blood Sugar In 21Days For Life, Click Here!!!.


All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.


  • So oju abe niko

    Have always loved this fellow, as the first and only professional CB governor Nigeria has ever had. He made his fair share of mistakes, but Nigeria would have been better off to continue on the landmark change instituted by Obasanjo in appointing economists instead of routine commercial bankers as the CB governor. It’s sad that he was followed by the load mouth Sanusi, who made up for lack of competence with empty populism.

    • Orly222

      “The point i want to make and that’s a question i now want everybody to ask themselves.

      How can you have a sitting Central Bank governor (Sanusi Lamido) who cannot count?

      Who starts by telling you $49billion is missing, and then reduces to $29b, then $10 billion,

      then raises it to $20b – a Central Bank governor who cannot count like that is a disgrace

      to his country and a disgrace to the position he takes.”

      .…………….Odia Ofeimun

      (March 14th, 2015)

    • 360 degrees

      I think the Europeans
      who blast Goodluck Jonathan as a buffoon do so with an eye on Jonathan’s
      inability to think and resolve the Sanusi Lamido case with tunnel vision. No
      thinking president, except Goodluck Jonathan, will fail to send Sanusi Lamido
      to jail on the audit evidence of clear-cut thefts laid out by Financial Reporting
      Council.

      Alas,
      Goodluck Jonathan wrote reams of totally irrelevant queries for 13 months, like
      a retard, when the first step should have been a criminal arrest by the EFCC
      where the whole point of the reams of query would have been part of criminal
      investigations, whilst Sanusi Lamido would be locked up in prison cell on
      a remand order of a court of law, to await trial.

      But the
      slow-thinking Goodluck Jonathan had no clarity. Surrounded by flippant and
      unserious-minded aides and advisers, Goodluck Jonathan took off on a tangent to
      orally interrogate Sanusi Lamido over who leaked the Central Bank correspondence,
      as if the alleged missing $49billion were true in the first place. This mental failure
      failure of Goodluck Jonathan to bring Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to justice led to his
      ouster from the presidential villa. Nobody wanted to see such chronic indecision
      prolonged on policy matters.

    • Opekete

      I agree with you absolutely. There is a clear difference between financial management and monetary economics. I respect Soludo greatly. I also respect Sanusi for his management activism when he held sway in the apex bank. Both of them might have made some mistakes here and there but they remain a shining example of forthright intellectual policy drivers of our monetary system.

  • MC

    Femi Falana is the greatest noise maker in the history of Nigeria. The other time he threatened to take Ngozi Okonjo Iweala to ICC over some fictitious claim, today he’s baselessly accusing Soludo who was the best CBN Governor ever.

    • Wollex

      @disqus_rOWmgtaQjq:disqus

      Regarding Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

      There is the untold truth,
      that Sanusi Lamido Sanusi disgraces Islam as a religion. The basic
      duty of a right-thinking person is to avoid slurs and be above suspicion by
      choosing rectitude over fraud. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi lumbers tons of misdeeds
      and wants to be known and addressed as the Leader of Kano Muslim Umma.
      He disgraces Islam. Viewed as episcopal equivalent of a Bishop in Kano, Sanusi
      Lamido’s pending court cases for terrorism give bold relief to the pending
      charges of stealing audit-proved by the federal government of Nigeria.

      Taken together,
      those acts of infamy awaiting court verdict undermine the supposed
      divine afflatus of Emir. Like his counterpart, the present Emir of Gumi, who
      ran away from the courthouse, upon being caught by the Judicial Council for
      taking bribe whilst sitting on a case as a Judge of Abuja High Court, there’s
      no hallow to a stealing Emir anymore than there’s dignity to the religion of
      Islam if led by a tainted Emir. I am surprised that the Sultan of Sokoto has
      not considered these implications in reconsidering Sanusi Lamido’s fitness
      for purpose.

      • Alkali

        • ₦38.23billion developed legs and got missing in Central Bank under Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
        • ₦160billion was taken by Sanusi Lamido at the Central Bank for self-determined spending.
        • ₦1.12billion was taken as spent by Sanusi Lamido on lunch for 12 CBN police guards
        in one year.
        • ₦1.12billion was taken in cash and entered in the account as paid to a non-operating airline
        for charter service.
        • ₦240billion was discretionally doled out at will as ‘donations’ by Sanusi Lamido.
        • ₦1.97billion was paid out in cash and entered on Central Bank accounts as “inexplicable
        expense” by Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
        • ₦20billion was entered as paid out in cash as Legal Fees by Sanusi Lamido to persons
        unknown.
        • ₦3.086billion was taken by Sanusi Lamido and written off as expense ostensibly to promote
        Central Bank image.

        • MC

          And with all these, it is convenient for Falana to accuse Soludo of whom we are yet to read such misappropriation!?

      • MC

        The Royal Rogue, as I have christened him, is a very carnal emir copying showbiz dudes, fucking teenagers and obviously doing drugs.

    • ???asking questions

      DOES IT MEAN THE BILLIONS OF NAIRA PROVED MISSING BY AUDIT AT CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA

      WALKED OUT OF THE VAULT BY THEMSELVES WITHOUT ANYBODY KNOWING OR STEALING THEM?

      • MC

        Nope bro. It doesn’t mean so. Searchlight should be beamed on Sanusi. He actually has carried on as though ”nothing go happen” because he’s from the North and therefore untouchable! I remember just before he left office, it was proven that billions of naira were wasted on guard dogs and police details attached to him. I personally knew those at CBN Governor’s residence in Wuse 2 etc and they just lazy about within the compound like other uncared-for dogs in Nigeria. He would also impose Islamic bank in a circular country etc. He ran CBN like private biz but like other northerners, he is untouchable. While not calling Soludo an impeccable man for the law says “man know thyself”, and while we haven’t exactly had any proof of who’s responsible for disappearance of the huge sums, it would be convenient for the tribalistic relic of the past and rabble rouser Falana to accuse Soludo, especially since he isn’t from the untouchable, revered and almighty North right?

        • ed

          Point of corrections. Falana in this allegation, combined Soludo and Sanusi together. They both had case to answer. The billions dollars question is whether President Buhari is going to touch the corrupt Emir of Kano

          • MC

            The comments made here are in respect of the article above : “Soludo hits back,…”. There may be others in which Falana specifically accused both of them. If I get to read those, I may comment according its context.

            The “billions dollars question” has answer. Buhari will never probe Sanusi. Do u know that the Royal Rogue donated heavily to Buhari’s campaign?

  • DanielOsazuwa

    This matter must be investigated properly by the relevant authority because this issue was widely reported by Nigeria newspapers in 2010 but was first reported by the Guardian Newspaper of Thursday 05/10/06 with heading: 14 NIGERIAN BANKS TO ENJOY 7 BILLION DOLLAR RESERVE.

    The Guardian Newspaper had quoted Mr. Festus Odoko, the then Head of CBN Corporate Affairs as saying that ” already deposits worth $7Billion Dollars representing the apex Bank share of the foreign reserveestimatedat about $38Billion has been released to the consortium of Bankers. In this event CBN had made good its promise to allow NigeriansBanks which have up to $500million capital base to be invited to the foreign reserve banquet”

    The Guardian Newspaper went further to quote Mr Festus Odoko as saying “the appointment of the 14 Banks was ratified by the Investment Committee of CBN on Tuesday, 03/10/06 and the deposit worth $7 Billion had ALREADY BEEN SHARED by Thursday morning, 05/10/06.

    Oga Soludo, please explain before water pass garri.

    • Sammie

      But Soludo left office in 2009.

      • DanielOsazuwa

        Sorry about the typo: wanted to type 2006 NOT 2010. Corrected.

  • Private Detective

    Thee [3] simple questions for Charles Soludo

    Chukwuma Soludo should publicly answer the following three questions only, viz:

    • Are you acquitted of wrongdoing by ICPC/EFCC on the secret dollar commission paid to an agent
    on nepotic or tribal grounds and entered on the books as consultancy fees for Paris Club debt deal?

    • Are you as an individual answering questions at the EFCC concerning cash and land assets
    of the Central Bank of Nigeria which are unaccounted or allegedly mis-appropriated in office?

    • Are you as an individual facing pending and ongoing investigations at the EFCC on your
    personal assets or and on your involvement with proxy companies operated as fraud cover?

  • share Idea

    Why APC and their promoters started peddling lies against GEJ and PDP, Nigerians were happy because, he was perceived by gullible masses as their mani enemy. Now, GEJ’s corrupt allegations are no longer having any traction, they have started attacking themselves. Was it not Soludo and Sanusi that alleged fabulous amounts as missing under GEJ then, now same allegation is now being made against them.

    The good thing about some of these allegations, is that people that sponsor them due not remember their previous one. Soludo is now telling us that when he left office in 2009, that Nigerian reserve was $45B, how come people have being saying that GEJ sqandered foreign reserve of $68B, and reduced it to $30B. Nigeria we hail thee

    • 360 degrees

      @shareidea:disqus

      I think the Europeans
      who blast Goodluck Jonathan as a buffoon do so with an eye on Jonathan’s
      inability to think and resolve the Sanusi Lamido case with tunnel vision. No
      thinking president, except Goodluck Jonathan, will fail to send Sanusi Lamido
      to jail on the audit evidence of clear-cut thefts laid out by Financial Reporting
      Council.

      Alas,
      Goodluck Jonathan wrote reams of totally irrelevant queries for 13 months, like
      a retard, when the first step should have been a criminal arrest by the EFCC
      where the whole point of the reams of query would have been part of criminal
      investigations, whilst Sanusi Lamido would be locked up in prison cell on
      a remand order of a court of law, to await trial.

      But the
      slow-thinking Goodluck Jonathan had no clarity. Surrounded by flippant and
      unserious-minded aides and advisers, Goodluck Jonathan took off on a tangent to
      orally interrogate Sanusi Lamido over who leaked the Central Bank correspondence,
      as if the alleged missing $49billion were true in the first place. This mental failure
      failure of Goodluck Jonathan to bring Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to justice led to his
      ouster from the presidential villa. Nobody wanted to see such chronic indecision
      prolonged on policy matters.

    • okenwa

      They were all together along with falana against GEJ but now God has turned themselves against themselves. We dey warch.

  • CEO

    Ha, leaky mouth Soludo, so thin skinned he could not even wait for twenty four hours before shouting himself hoarse about a mere newspaper publication of allegations of corruption against him. Why is Soludo being so defensive? Why has Soludo allowed such a degree of irascibility to overtake him, instead of keeping his cool, commence preparations for his defense, while awaiting EFCC’s invitation? Could Soludo not imbibe the stoicism of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, whom he used to savage on the pages of the same newspapers? Soludo should be prepared never to sleep anymore, as he has become Nigeria’s own Macbeth. Soludo must be reminded that “Mr. Know all/adviser extraordinaire to Buhari,” Femi Falana will not be intimidated by his hollow denial and disjointed pontification. The man has said he is in possession of documents to support his allegations. Soludo should be very careful and remember that he, and he alone dug this pit he’s found himself in. He may not be able to dismiss this with a wave of the hand. There is no smoke without fire, as the saying goes.

  • okenwa

    All of una joined hand remove GEJ and now una don dey fight unaselves. Unfortunately for chukwuma soludo there is no emir throne in igboland that would be used to hide his sins at cbn. Make una brake and scartter unaselves we don sidon dey watch.

    • Amir

      You are very silly. Who is GEJ? Two or three intelligent men are arguing and disagreeing and you bring a discredit dimwit into it. Was it not his incompetence that is robbing dirt to the sterling performance of the two ex-CBN chiefs? Democracy is surely not for cowards like you! GEJ ni, GEJ ko. If he is your brother tell him to return part of our foreign reserves he put in his wife’s account.

      • okenwa

        Thank God i am silly but for you, you are a complete mad man. God is now using the same stick you floged GEJ with to flog all of you now. Dead moron.

    • Rommel

      Removing GEJ remains the best decision Nigerians have ever collectively made, we are hearing now amounts left by Soludo in forex reserves under very difficult circumstances of global economic meltdown and Niger delta full scale insurgency,how much did GEJ live after his years of oil boom?

      • Arabakpura

        Thank you!

      • abodes_124

        Check the Nigerian National bureau of statistics, the African Development Bank and world Bank websites for the answer.

      • Oyi

        Under GEJ, Nigeria reclaimed its position as the giant of Africa by dethrone S/A and become the largest economy in Africa.

        • Rommel

          University of Ibadan is the only school from Nigeria that featured on the list of 1000th universities in the world and the VC was congratulating himself for placing 801 out of 1000,with outsourced reasoning like yours,is it strange why the country is performing poorly?

      • okenwa

        Go ask amaechi, oshiemonkey, fashaole, okoroawusa while GEJ did not save.

        • Rommel

          Your answer confirms a long held belief that an imbecile was president at that time which will make his disciples even worse than imbeciles,we used to believe that followers of president were unreasonable hoping that with more exposure to information,they might begin to see the world in new lights but alas!,how wrong we were,they are not only unreasonable but also irrational.

  • Terry

    My fellow nigerians this Buhari government is turning Nigeria to something else that no one can speak the gospel truth against his government, and when you does, they Will come up with a fabricated falacy just to silence you. Buhari government have turned our hard aimed democracy into a military and autocratic government which is runing to our own detriment both here in Nigeria and abroad.

    • Toni T. Umale

      @Terry,

      PREMIUM TIMES is to blame for that. The Buhari regime does not tolerate dissent or opposition.
      Instead of Premium Times to say no to that, Premium Times will be keeping quiet about that.
      Some people are even saying that President Buhari is the real publisher of Premium Times.
      Premium Times must talk and save Nigeria from the ignorance and dictatorship of Buhari.
      Journalists are being locked up. Internet bloggers are being arrested. Nobody is safe.
      Premium Times does not write powerful English to condemn all this Buhari nonsense.
      Even when Buhari is destroying the economy Premium Times will just be looking.

    • ed

      You made the right point but on a deferent topic. President Buhari was running against himself in the period we’re talking about.

  • ed

    Soludo and Falana had one thing in common. That’s making promises of court act and backing out.
    Falana gave so many ultimatum to sue so many
    times, without any action in court. On the other hand Soludo and Sanusi ran the CBN like their own private company.

    • Viva Revo

      @disqus_zicFb9uJk6:disqus

      Unless
      Nigerians resolve to deal with treasury thieves by moving against these treasury
      thieves physically with deadly weapons to stop those robbing the country and
      claiming a right to do so, the country will never exit the pains and poverty of
      recession for the honest Nigerians – because recession has no meaning to
      treasury thieves and their criminal business proxies who stash away billions of
      Naira stolen from the treasury by false accounting and false invoices signed to
      dupe a whole country. Only honest Nigerians bear the whole pain of economic
      recession. In short, until Nigerians rise and kill known treasury thieves in
      each neighborhood there’s no hope or comfort for Nigeria.

  • ochon

    Where were u falana when this same soludo was running down the okonjo iweala and gej administration? Why this vituperation now? Is it because he told Buhari the honest truth? Now I know you are a puppet in the hand of this APC government. What a sycophant!

  • abodes_124

    “I have come to terms with the fact that part of the burden one bears for having held public office in Nigeria is that one has to endure all kinds of uninformed and sometimes mischievous attempts to malign one’s character,” Interesting comment by Soludo given the aspersions he has been casting on other public office holders. Hopefully he has learnt that what goes round comes round. People have been ‘invited’ and detained by the EFCC for less spurious allegations. I hope he joins the APC soon before he ends up in KUJE.

  • Deovolente

    Signs of the proverbial “Dog-Eat-Dog” syndrome.