CBN orders staff to declare links with politically exposed persons-Report


  • All CBN staff are also obliged to declare close relatives in the employment of the Bank.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed its staff members to declare their ‘close relatives’ in the employment of the bank.

In a memo seen by PREMIUM TIMES and signed by its Deputy Director of Human Resources Department, Christian Eze, the apex bank also directed its staffers to declare their relationships with Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) in the country.

“Please recall Management’s restriction on the employment of close relatives of serving staff and board members,” the memo reads.

“Consequently, all staff are obliged to make declarations of close relatives in the employment of the Bank.”

The apex bank explained that a close relative is defined as a spouse, biological and adopted children, brother, sister, mother, father and half-siblings.

“Spouse and spousal relationships include cohabitation, live-in partners, couples living together and couples who have children together,” it added.

The bank thereafter directed all staff whose close relatives have been in the employment of the bank (serving or retired) to complete a form.

In addition, the bank said staff who joined the services of the Bank from 2014 to date and have relationships with Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) are also required to disclose such by completing the form.

“For clarity, a PEP is an individual who is or has been entrusted with prominent public functions in Nigeria or Foreign countries or by an International Organization and people/entities associated with them.

“PEPs include Heads of State or Government, Political appointees to Heads of State or Government, State Governors, Senior Politicians, Legislators (Federal, State and Local Government), Local Government Chairmen, Important political party officials, Family members or close associates of PEPs, Senior Government, Judicial or Military Officials, Members of Royal Families, Senior Executives of State-owned Corporations.”

The bank said all submissions should be made on or before 12 noon, Friday, 10 November, 2023.

It warned that non-disclosure or false declaration shall attract sanctions.

The CBN had come under fire during President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime for secretly recruiting dozens of family members of top government officials, including children of ministers, serving and former government functionaries and a nephew of Mr Buhari.

The recruitment was done without advertising the vacancies to allow other Nigerians to apply, as required by law. It was also done in flagrant disregard of Nigeria’s federal character law.

The beneficiaries of that 2016 controversial recruitment, according to a list released by SaharaReporters at the time, include a nephew of President Buhari, daughter of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, son of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Ibe Kachikwu, and daughter of former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Na’aba.

Others include the daughter of the then Police Inspector-General, Solomon Arase, son of the Minister of Internal Affairs, Abdulrahman Danbazzau, among others.

Bank insiders told PREMIUM TIMES that the disclosures demanded from staff members are part of the ongoing probe of the institution by a special investigator.

“We are told that the investigator demanded to have the social network analysis of the bank’s personnel,” an official said, asking not to be named because he has no permission to discuss the matter with journalists. “So the bank is collecting the data on his behalf.”

President Bola Tinubu had on 28 July appointed Jim Obazee, a former chief executive officer of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, as a Special Investigator to probe the activities of the CBN and other related entities.

In a letter dated 28 July, seen by PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Tinubu said the appointment of Mr Obazee, relying on the fundamental objective set forth in Section 15(5) of the Nigerian constitution, was in furtherance of his administration’s anti-corruption fight.

President Tinubu specifically directed Mr Obazee to take immediate steps to ensure the strengthening and probity of key Government Business Entities (GBEs) and block leakages in the CBN and related GBEs.

He also directed the special investigator to provide a comprehensive report on public wealth currently in the hands of corrupt individuals and establishments (private or public).

Also, the president directed Mr Obazee to investigate the CBN and related entities using a suitably experienced, competent and capable team and to work with relevant security and anti-corruption agencies to deliver on the assignment.

Mr Obazee is expected to brief the president weekly on the progress being made on the assignment.

But even before the appointment of the special investigator, the CBN had, on 22 June, less than a month after Mr Tinubu assumed office, released a Guidance Note On Politically Exposed Persons.

The circular, signed by Chibuzo Efobi, the bank’s director of financial policy and regulation department, directed financial institutions in the country to establish measures for mitigating potential money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation financing risks posed by high-risk customers, including Political Exposed Persons (PEPs).

(Premium Times)

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