$7 billion: I won’t apologise to Soludo – Falana

Femi Falana
Photo credits: Newsbreakers
Femi Falana Photo credits: Newsbreakers

A senior lawyer, Femi Falana, on Sunday said he would not apologise to former Central Bank Governor Chukwuma Soludo over his allegation that the ex-bank chief “dolled” out $7 billion government funds to bankers while he was in office.

Mr. Soludo has denied the allegation, saying he acted right in his dealings as Central Bank chief.

Mr. Falana, however, said he based his statement on facts made available by the Central Bank during Mr. Soludo’s stewardship.

Read Mr. Falana’s full statement below:

On October 3, 2006, the Central Bank of Nigeria under the management of Professor Chukwuma Soludo gave a loan of $7 billion to 14 commercial banks in Nigeria. The loan was confirmed by the  Head of the CBN Corporate Affairs , Mr. Festus Odoko when he announced that “deposits worth $7 billion representing the apex bank’s share of the foreign reserves estimated at about $38 billion has been released to the consortium of bankers.” (The Guardian newspaper of 5/10/2006)

Barely four days later, a respected economist, Mr. Henry Boyo challenged the illegal claim that the $7 billion was a “share” of the CBN in the nation’s foreign reserves. Since the funds belong to the three tiers of Government by virtue of section 162 of the Constitution Mr. Boyo rightly stated that “the Senate and the House of Representatives would have defaulted in their constitutional duties if CBN is not invited to defend why $7 billion of our reserves should be ‘given’ to 14 banks without oversight approval.” (Vanguard newspaper of October 9, 2006).

Having confirmed that the banks have failed to liquidate the said $7 billion loan I have asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to investigate the illegality of the loan and recover same together with other huge funds which have been criminally diverted or withheld from the Federation Account. With respect, the denial of the $7 billion loan by Professor Soludo  has supported the request for a thorough investigation of the allegations contained in my petition. However, having regard to the facts and circumstances of the controversial loan, Professor Soludo may wish  to direct his demand for apology to Mr. Festus Odoko!

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  • Arabakpura

    Most former players of the Nigerian economy should be barred from public speaking because they did worse things during their tenures but now pontificate! I have advised every Nigerian who is hungry to always carry stones with them should they ever encounter these evil men of yesterday and they should not hesitate to apply those stones on these celebrated culprits!

    • SBA

      Thank you for your comments. They are all culpable. Many either stole or misappropriated our money and resources. The sad thing is that we forget to quickly; and sometimes blinded by ethnic bigotry and politics, we queue behind to support them. I have said it times without number that politicians are the same. Like they say, their is no permanent friend or enemy but interests

    • Aremu Mathew Okikiolu

      Barring anybody from speaking is against our laws. Yet we are in a democracy.

      • Arabakpura

        Not when you have insincere people everywhere, but I have addressed the hungry Nigerians to get prepared to do that job!

        • Aremu Mathew Okikiolu

          By the way who are the hungry Nigerians? The one that is hungry to loot more or the one that lives on less than $2/day? And you will be leading theses hungry mobs? Does your excuse justify the tendency to be an obscurantist? Although you can read and write, you are nothing but a coward and a simpleton. Please read your constitution and take the prescribed measures. Who made you a commander anyway? Feed them hungry Nigerians first before instructing them.

          • Arabakpura

            The hungry Nigerians are the ones that feel the pinch of the economic meltdown! Some of them take up other people’s name just to cover up their hunger! If you are not one of them, you needn’t bother your bloated head!

  • Factsay

    They are now fighting each other in public because Soludo and Sanusi have criticized the present govt. They all used to belong in same camp against GEJ.

    Where was Falana and co when same Soludo and Sanusi were criticizing GEJ govt. Is 2006 yesterday? Why did Falana waited so long to raise these issues till after Soludo criticized this govt?

    Falana is now a confirmed political partisan lawyer

    • SBA

      Your comments is absurd. Must we read politics to everything in this country. I don’t care which party anybody belongs. Whomever is found to have stolen or misppropriated our common wealth must be brought to justice.

      • Factsay

        Facts are before u. If u have a better explanation u put it forward.
        Politics governs everything in Nigeria if u dont know, know it today.

        • Aremu Mathew Okikiolu

          Whose facts? The one asserting or the one denying? Please use your reasoning faculty.

          • Factsay

            Aremu the looter, idey greet shaa

    • Aremu Mathew Okikiolu

      It is Soludo who demanded an apology when he actually unilaterally loaned our money to these banks. You sound like a functional illiterate. Mind you Falana wrote a petition to probe this loan to EFCC. Stop portraying your ignorance in public.

      • Contact Point

        Silly you. This happened since 10 years ago, yet our own respected Femi Falana (SAN) kept mute until now. So what really has changed that he now found his tongue untied?

        • Ikechukwu_67

          You have not been reading Falana. Please check your facts!

        • Aremu Mathew Okikiolu

          You are clearly an ignorant buffoon. That it “happened since 10 years ago” (bad grammar) according to you does not change the fact that he doled out a loan, an unauthorised loan at that. What is the life span of a criminal offence?

      • Factsay

        it runs in ur DNA. u never see evil in ur own even wen he kills b4 ur very eye. Thats y hausas never trust una

        • Aremu Mathew Okikiolu

          You you are a mentally retarded tribalist. This is about Nigeria asshole.

  • CEO

    There you have it Soludo, you may now advise your lawyers to put Falana on notice. I’ve said it before that Falana will not be intimidated by your hollow denial and disjointed pontification. More may be coming your way, just be prepared.

    • Aremu Mathew Okikiolu

      I wonder why the empty threat. Let him go to court, if he can. A clear conscience fears no accusation.

  • Jaspa Matanga

    Good rejoinder professionally delivered.

  • Dazmillion

    When Soludo was accusing Okonja of economic mismanagement he was very through, with facts and figures to prove his case. Now that he is facing similar accusations by Falana, his silly response letter demanding an apology from Falana was totally lacking in any defensive information.

    Soludo must come clean on this allegations and the mallam of Kano must also state his own role in this loan thing.

    • Contact Point

      Didn’t you read Soludo’s response to that allegation? What “come clean” again is your tiny brain conjuring? You should concur that investigation be properly conducted and not been silly in support of either side

    • Aremu Mathew Okikiolu

      Good reasoning. The Emir admitted the fact and said he was working under instructions from his clien, the government, Soludo’s hubris will nail him. Let him go to court since Falana has literally called his bluff.

  • Realitytalk

    Continue to expose them all to us for anyone that steal the money and EFCC to arrest them all

  • javscong javscong

    I really do not know what to make of Mr. Falana. He keeps coming up with a lot of hype and very little or zero follow-up action. It is not good enough to make allegations and this man has made so many. He should pursue his allegations in the law courts. In the days of Gani Fawehinmi, the man backed up his assertions by taking even the Federal Government to court. That was a man of immense integrity. I can not stand this man, Falana, who wants to be seen as a social crusader but lacks the will to pursue his claims. As a senior lawyer, if he is convinced and has documentary evidence to support his allegations, I am sure that he knows that he can approach the courts to compel the EFCC to investigate any criminal misdeeds. Where that agency fails to do that, as a private citizen, he has a right to take up the matter. Until he starts doing that, I will continue to view his allegations as “rabble rousing” just to seek attention and relevance. He can never be on the same pedestal as our late Gani unless and until he demonstrates Gani’s qualities.

    • utolason

      Falana has taken govt to court on several occasions. What about you?