The management of BUA Group, Nigeria’s leading foods, infrastructure, mining and manufacturing conglomerate, has refuted alleged illicit foreign exchange dealings with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the close watch of embattled former apex bank governor Godwin Emefiele.
BUA in a statement entitled “Re: Unfounded Allegations of Illicit Forex Dealings involving BUA Group,” first published by ENigeria Newspaper, and subsequently by other online platforms, described the publications as baseless, false and entirely unfounded.
Recall that “ENigeria Newspaper reports that Godwin Emefiele reportedly spearheaded a dollar racketeering ring that consists of his cronies among whom is Abdul Samad Rabiu, the founder of BUA Group, a Nigerian conglomerate with interest in oil, cement, FMCG, et al.
“This Newspaper reports that at the expense of impoverished Nigerians, the embattled CBN Governor opened a forex credit line for Rabiu which enables him to borrow at the official rate of N199 at the time, resell at a black-market rate of N495, and rake in billions of naira in turnover in quick succession.
“The investigation takes a cursory look and exposes heaps of illegal financial dealing between CBN and BUA Group in a brazen manner, demonstrating a massive credit from the CBN to the controversial Abdul Samad Rabiu-led company.
“For instance, Emefiele allegedly ordered the transfer of N1,382,500,000 being a forex purchase to BUA on 8th January 2016.
“On 18th January, BUA International purchased the dollar equivalent of N386,799,033.70 using the official rate of N199 while the black-market rate at the time was N495.
“On the same day, Emefiele was said to have ordered another disbursement of forex worth N520,217,528 to BUA. Another N1,382,500,000 was also sent on the same day as well as on 22nd January respectively.
“On 22nd January, another N386,799.033 and N520,217,528 was again wired from CBN account in forex to BUA.
“On 15th February, similar disbursements of N386,799.033, N1,382,500,000, and N520,217,528 left the nation’s account to BUA.
“Similarly, on 23rd February, N386,799.033 and N520,217,528 made BUA International smile on the order of Emefiele.
“In like manner, again on 2nd March the company got another lodgment of N386,799.033 and N520,217,528.
On 11th March, BUA further purchased $12,282,002 in double tranches from CBN while on 23rd March, $29,625,000 was also moved from CBN to the government-fed billionaire to its BUA Sugar Refinery account to Ecobank account number 9992021618.
“On 31st March, the country’s foreign reserve depleted with $49,375,000 from CBN to BUA into its Ecobank account number 9992023306. Via its GTB account 214161839, USD sale of forex at the official rate of N197.5 worth N2 billion was again given to the company by CBN.
“Via CBN intervention fund when the company was financially viable, the sum of N392,034,060 in three tranches was paid to BUA Sugar Refinery using the official rate of N198 to its Stanbic IBTC account number 11889618.
“Troves of these financial documents saw over N40 billion in returns to Abdul Samad Rabiu-led BUA alone, in the year 2016 with the active connivance of Godwin Emefiele.
“As stated earlier, this investigation takes a look elaborately at, and exposes the role of a corrupt CBN headed by Emefiele, a former Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc, and how he transformed the fortune of Abdul Samad Rabiu, and other Northern billionaires in his cadre and transformed them into global moneybags at the expense of other hardworking Nigerians.”
However, BUA Group in a statement made available to SummitNews, states that: “Our attention has been brought to various false allegations published against BUA Group on some online platforms.
“BUA Group categorically refutes the baseless allegations of illicit forex dealings with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from January to March 2016.
“These accusations, propagated online by Mr. Desmond Ike-Chima and Mr. Oliver Fejiro of ENigeria News and Secret Reporters respectively, are false and entirely unfounded.
“These individuals, known for their involvement in cyberstalking, blackmail, and defamation, have faced previous arrests for such misconduct, casting a dark shadow over their credibility.
“We emphatically state that neither BUA Group nor the Chairman of the Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu, received any of the alleged foreign exchange allocations from the CBN during the indicated period. This fact is corroborated by the CBN and the respective banks.
“Furthermore, in compliance with CBN’s regulations, all forex transactions by banks during 2016, were published publicly in national newspapers (some copies attached).
“These records, still accessible today, provide unequivocal evidence that counters these false allegations. We, therefore, challenge Mr. Ike-Chima, Mr. Fejiro, and their sponsors to validate their claims with concrete evidence.
“We urge the public and our stakeholders to disregard these deceptive publications in light of these facts.
“We have engaged the necessary law enforcement agencies and initiated legal action against the perpetrators under the Cybercrime Prohibition Prevention Act, Laws of the Federation, 2015.”