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I Was Not Arrested By EFCC, Says Ex CBN Governor Charles Soludo

January 12, 2013

Former Governor of the Central Bank (CBN), Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, has denied reports that he was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday, insisting that rather, he was invited by the agency to make clarifications on some issues on a matter under investigation.

However, a source at the commission said Soludo was granted administrative bail and was allowed to go home, having been grilled for several hours by the commission’s team of investigators.

The source said his international and diplomatic passports were seized after he had produced two sureties at the level of Permanent Secretaries or Directors.

The source added: “But that is not the end because he is also expected back for further interrogation.

“I don’t have much details on the other 12 ex-staff of CBN and the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company who were linked with the scam; it is not as if the suspects are here.

“But a number of them have been questioned over time and they are both from NSPMC and CBN, it is not as if they are in our station at the moment.”

But a close aide of Soludo denied that his passports were seized or that he was granted any administrative bail, or that he provided any sureties.

A statement by his media office Friday said the former CBN Governor voluntarily went to the EFCC office to honour the commission’s invitation.

The statement signed by Bonaventure Melah said Soludo was neither arrested nor escorted to EFCC office by operatives of the commission as was reported.

“We want to put it on record clearly that the media reports that Professor Chukwuma Soludo was arrested by the operatives of the EFCC in Abuja is totally false or to say the least written in error.

“The fact of the matter is that the EFCC wrote a letter to Prof. Soludo inviting him to their Abuja office on the 10th of January 2013. EFCC’s invitation letter to Prof. Soludo was dated 20th December 2012.

“Soludo was abroad attending to several international engagements when the letter was sent to his aides. As a law-abiding citizen of the country, Soludo returned to Nigeria in the New Year and honoured EFCC invitation on January 10th as requested.

“He voluntarily went from his home to EFCC office on Thursday. He was neither arrested nor escorted by any operative of the Commission.

“The EFCC letter of invitation to Soludo states that: ‘This Commission is investigating a case in which the need to obtain certain clarifications from you has become imperative.’

“It was a two-paragraph letter which also indicated date and time for the meeting between Prof. Soludo and officials of the Commission,” the statement added.

The Guardian yesterday learnt that Soludo alongside others were quizzed by the anti-graft agency on the processes adopted in handling the contract and not on any alleged bribery.

A top official of the anti-graft agency, who pleaded anonymity, disclosed that the issues of alleged contract bribery did not come up during the interrogations, rather the agency was looking at the processes adopted in awarding the contract.

According to the official, Soludo made some clarifications on the issue on Thursday and was allowed to go home.
Source: Guardian

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