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FOREX ALLOCATION PROBE: EFCC Operatives Raid Dangote’s Business Empire In Lagos, Cart Away Documents

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President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote





Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday raided the headquarters of the Dangote Group in connection with ongoing investigation into forex allocations in the country.

Sources told PREMIUM TIMES that on arrival at the headquarters of one of Africa’s largest conglomerates in Lagos, the EFCC operatives demanded documents relating to allocation of foreign exchange to the group in the last ten years.

They then scrutinised the documents provided by officials of the Group for hours, carting some of them away.

This newspaper learnt that the EFCC had written to 52 companies directing them to supply documents supporting the allocation and utilization of foreign currencies to them in the last 10 years.

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The EFCC letter to the companies is part of ongoing investigation into alleged preferential Forex allocations to individuals and organisation by the Godwin Emefiele-led Central Bank of Nigeria.

Investigators have in the past months accused the CBN of favouring and enriching some individuals and companies through non-transparent allocation of foreign exchange to them.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported in December how the forensic audit of the CBN under Mr Emefiele uncovered 593 bank accounts domiciled in the United States, the United Kingdom and China in which Nigerian funds were deposited without authorisation from the board and investment committee of the apex bank.

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The special investigator revealed that the sum of 543.4 million pounds was kept by Mr Emefiele in fixed deposit accounts, adding that the ex-CBN chief manipulated the naira exchange rate and committed fraud in the e-Naira project.

Our source said while some of the companies the EFCC wrote to had since complied, others asked for more time to gather thinformation and documents.

But in a surprising move, the EFCC stormed Dangote headquarters Thursday just as the company tried to surrender boxes of documents to the anti-graft agencies,

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“The Dangote people intimated the EFCC that the documents were ready and that they were bringing them over,” a source familiar with the matter told PREMIUM TIMES. “But the EFCC said its operatives would rather come to the company to collect the documents.”

The source said such Gestapo tactics by the EFCC could discourage foreign investors from coming to Nigeria.

“The Dangote Group is perhaps Africa’s largest conglomerate and it is troubling that the EFCC could deal with it in an unnecessary show of force especially when it is not obstructing its investigation in any form,” the source added.

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When contacted, the spokesperson for the EFCC, Dele Oyewale, declined comment on the matter, saying he was at a meeting. He did not answer or return subsequent calls made to him.

The spokesperson for the Dangote Group, Anthony Chiejina, could not be reached to comment for this story.

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