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CBN special investigator denies Lemo’s request for meeting rescheduling

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Tunde Lemo

Signed by the Head of Operations, Office of the Special Investigator, Eloho Okpoziakpo, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, the letter was in response to a request from Lemo’s lawyer seeking a shift of today’s meeting until January.

The investigator also rejected a proposal by Lemo for the major shareholders of Titan Trust Bank, Mr. Cornelius Vink and Rahul Savara, to be given seven days to prove their purported ownership of TTB and Union Bank of Nigeria or forfeit the shares to the Federal Government.

The Special Investigator, Jim Obazee, had summoned Lemo, a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, in connection with the acquisition of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc by TTB.

The TTB chairman was directed to report to the Department of Force Intelligence opposite the Force headquarters, Shehu Shagari Way, Abuja, on Thursday (today), where he will be grilled by a team of detectives probing the UBN acquisition.

Lemo was further instructed to come along with Vink and Savara to meet with the team of special investigators.

Obazee stated in his investigation report that some persons were used as proxies by a former CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, to set up Titan Trust Bank and acquire Union Bank, all from ill-gotten wealth.

However, Lemo, in a letter by his lawyer, G. Elias, dated December 27, requested a shift of the meeting with investigators as he was away from Nigeria.

The investigator dismissed the request for a postponement of the meeting with the TTB major shareholders, noting that Lemo had earlier agreed to attend today’s meeting.

The letter noted, “Reference is made to the law firm of G.ELIAS letter dated 27th December 2023 in response to the Special Investigator’s invitation to you via a letter with reference number CR:3000/TSI/ABJ/VOL.1/69 dated 24th December 2023.

The Special Investigator informed the TTB chairman that documents submitted through proxies will not be accepted “as Mr Cornelius Vink, Mr Rahul Savara and your good self will be required to speak to whatever document(s)/information you present during the meeting.”

Obazee, who was appointed special investigator in July 2023, submitted his final report tagged, ‘Report of the Special Investigation on CBN and Related Entities (Chargeable offences)’ to the Presidency on December 20.

In two separate reports on the acquisition of UBN and Keystone Bank submitted to President Bola Tinubu on December 20, Obazee also revealed that Emefiele used proxies to acquire Keystone Bank without evidence of payment.

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