During a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, Boss Mustapha, the immediate former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), exonerated himself and former President Muhammadu Buhari from charges related to the alleged illegal payment of $6.2 million to international election monitors.

He said that President Buhari’s signature and the letter he supposedly wrote and signed did not come from the presidency and that the other two were forgeries.

The ex-CBN governor Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele is on trial in the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, and Mustapha provided the necessary explanations on Tuesday as he was giving evidence.

He said he had no knowledge of or affiliation with Jubrin Abubakar, the man accused of collecting the $6.2 million in cash on February 8, 2023, when Emefiele was supervising.

Shouldapha criticized the two letters that were said to have come from the Buhari Presidency and the SGF office, saying that they did not follow the usual format for presidential and SGF correspondence.

Emefiele was accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of forging letters in order to defraud the Federal Government of $6,230,000. The letters were supposedly meant to cover payments to international election monitors.

According to Mustapha, no other federal government institution is responsible for handling the question of how to pay for observers, whether they are local or foreign. This responsibility lies only with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

I am unable to authorise correspondence between the governor and the Director of Banking Services at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) since I do not have access to information regarding the CBN’s activities.

Looking at the supposed letters alone reveals that everything from the title to the contents are flawed. He clarified that he was unaware of the letter contents due to the lack of consent from the Federal Executive Council.

The said letter from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation bears my name as the SGF,” Mustapha continued. The letter does not appear to have come from the SGF office, as far as I am aware. I was not required to sign anything unless it came from the SGF office.

Foreign election observers are not a part of Nigeria’s government’s purview. I can say it with confidence because I oversaw two election cycles. When it comes to international observers, INEC is solely responsible.

Upon closer inspection of the signature on the so-called letter from the presidency, it appears to be an unsuccessful endeavor to replicate the signature of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Everything regarding the transactions was a mystery to me until I departed from my position. During my time in the military, I never once saw the letter that was said to have been written by the president.

From what I can see, having been the SGF for five years and seven months, there are seven main reasons why this letter did not come from the presidency.

There is no reference number on the Presidential seal, which is one of several things. There is power in the seal. Instead of sending letters outlining choices, the Federal Executive Council uses excerpts once they’ve made a decision.

The care of FEC is entrusted to me. I will not be referred to the FEC’s conclusions by the president. “Please, accept the assurances of my highest regards” is an empty phrase that President Buhari has never used in any of his official communications.

At the same time, more trials have been scheduled for March 7, 11, and 25.

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