EFCC Raids Dangote Group Headquarters in Forex Allocations Probe


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) intensified its investigation into foreign exchange dealings under the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, by conducting a raid at the headquarters of the Dangote Group.


Founded by Nigerian billionaire businessman Aliko Dangote, the Dangote Group is West Africa's largest conglomerate and one of the continent's largest. On Thursday, December 4, 2023, EFCC operatives arrived at the group's Lagos headquarters, seeking documents related to foreign exchange allocations received over the last ten years.


Demanding transparency, the EFCC meticulously examined the documents provided by the group's officials, eventually seizing some of them. The anti-graft agency had earlier sent requests to 52 companies, instructing them to submit documents supporting the allocation and utilization of foreign currencies over the past decade.


In November 2023, the Dangote Group denied allegations of malpractices and money laundering involving a purported $3.4 billion received from the CBN. The unexpected EFCC visit on Thursday caught the company off guard, as they were in the process of preparing to hand over boxes containing the requested documents.


According to a source, the Dangote Group had informed the EFCC that the documents were ready for submission, but the anti-graft agency insisted on collecting them directly from the company.


The ongoing EFCC investigation centers around allegations of preferential forex allocations to individuals and organizations during Emefiele's tenure at the CBN. Recent revelations have suggested that certain individuals and companies were favored and enriched through opaque allocation of foreign exchange.


In December 2023, a forensic audit of CBN activities during Emefiele's tenure unveiled 593 bank accounts in the United States, the United Kingdom, and China, where Nigerian funds were deposited without proper authorization. The special investigator, Jim Obazee, disclosed instances of financial irregularities, including the stashing of £543.4 million in fixed deposit accounts and manipulation of the naira exchange rate by the former CBN governor. Additionally, fraud allegations surfaced in the execution of the e-Naira project.


The EFCC's actions underscore its commitment to thoroughly investigate and address potential financial misconduct, ensuring accountability in foreign exchange dealings during the specified period.

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