Benjamin Fakunle, the outgoing Finance Director at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has been apprehended by the Department of State Service (DSS). He is currently under investigation for his alleged involvement in the fraudulent preparation of the CBN’s seven-year audited accounts, according to InsideBusinessNG.
Fakunle was reportedly arrested during his retirement party in Abuja on Wednesday and remains in detention. In his role as finance director, he was responsible for overseeing the financial department, including the preparation of audited accounts and liaising with auditors.
The investigation into these accounts was initiated following the interrogation of Shuaib Ahmed and Iheanyi Anyahara, executives from the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC). Discrepancies and irregularities were discovered in the audited accounts, which were prepared based on guidelines issued by the FRC.
President Bola Tinubu appointed Jim Obazee as the special investigator to probe the CBN and related entities, aiming to address corruption and strengthen governance in these institutions. Fakunle will also be questioned regarding the alleged payment of N401 million for the document, contrary to FRC rules, and the advance payment of N300 million to auditors KPMG and EY for the 2022 audited accounts before work had commenced.
It’s worth noting that the DSS previously arrested and released Dr. Kingsley Obiora, the Deputy Governor of the CBN in charge of Economic Policy, while the suspended Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, has been in DSS custody since his arrest on June 10, 2023, shortly after his suspension by President Tinubu.