Grimot Nane Zine

Is the Government of Nigeria Stage-Managing Cash Seizures?

The current sensation in Nigeria is the mysterious discoveries and seizures of large sums of money (mostly foreign currency) found at lying fallow at premium addresses. The cash discoveries are claimed to be the work of selfless “whistleblowers” at the encouragement of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). And it is expected to show the world that the Government of Nigeria (GON) is winning on its anti-corruption campaign promises. Some highly experienced experts in the anti-corruption and crime industry find the discoveries very unlikely and too good to be true. The fantastic cash discoveries made by the EFCC credibly appear to be merely clever stage-managed acts of publicity.

A starkly unsuccessful anti-corruption campaign propped up by mysterious ample cash “discoveries and seizures” to make the GON look like it is beginning to get things is far too irresistible for it to ignore decisively. Successful anti-corruption is made of incomparably more critical stuff than cash hauls.

The big test that will prove that the stated monies recently discovered and seized are genuine finds is if they cannot be [f]orensically traced to monies recently held in the vaults of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). If such an investigation were to be carried out without prejudice on the seized cash and CBN cash records, the truth would be known. If this practice is to continue, “photographs” and not forensic evidence may be the only evidence of discovery and seizure, and the judiciary will have to play along. The question that then arises is whose monies are being discovered and seized, and from where did it come? The Central Bank of Nigeria.

It may explain why one can readily find tens of millions of US dollars lying carelessly in a bedroom or cellar in a property that an amateur burglar can break into with light ease. People criminal and sophisticated enough to acquire such a vast fortune in hard currency have been known to keep money in far safer and better ways than that. Yes, soakaway pits, water tanks and bunkers are rational hiding places for cash not unoccupied easy to breach premium addresses. Indisputably, finding such cash hauls are made by accident or from rare tip-offs but never from routine searches and never as trends. However, for some mysterious reason, such cash discoveries seizures are now becoming a strong trend in Nigeria and routinely successful. It is truly amazing if not fantastic!

God bless the whistle-blowers! We need many of them in the Presidency, Senate, Reps, Governors’ Offices and elsewhere.

Grimot Nane

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