CBN Security Breach, Deputy Governor Suspended

Central Bank of Nigeria Headquarters

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, has suspended his deputy governor and four deputy directors for failing to follow financial regulations and due process, leading to the scamming of the bank by fraudsters.

It was gathered on Sunday night, March 13, that the suspended Deputy Governor, Financial System Surveillance, Joseph Nnanna, responded to some spam emails without first cross-checking the authenticity of the mails and following CBN the stringent payment process before authorizing the release of funds when the governor and several senior officials of the bank were on a flight to China last month.

The names of the affected deputy directors could not be ascertained but they include the deputy director in charge of payment, the deputy director of the trade and exchange department, and the deputy director in the office of the governor, who heeded Nnanna’s directive to pay when they themselves ought to know CBN’s payment due process.

$441,000 was initially lost to the scammers. $251,000 was however blocked and recovered, leaving a balance of $190,000, which had already been cashed by the fraudsters.

Two of the scammers were however caught in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and are currently being questioned by investigators.

From their modus operandi, the scammers apparently timed the execution of the fraud to take place when the CBN governor and other deputy governors were out of the country.

A statement posted on CBN website only stated that the bank had uncovered and aborted fraud without giving details.

The four-paragraph CBN statement signed by the Ag. Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okoroafor, and titled, “CBN Uncovers and Aborts Fraud,” reads: “A highly sophisticated plot to defraud the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) by some criminal minded elements has been uncovered and aborted by the bank.

Although preliminary investigations so far have not been revealed any accomplices within the CBN, management has decided to place all key personnel involved in the transaction on suspension. This is to ensure a full and unfettered investigation. This incident has been reported to relevant authorities. The CBN wishes to assure the general public that the security of the bank remains intact.”