'We will track you,' CBN Governor Emefiele accuses AbokiFX founder of damaging Naira's value

Emefiele says AbokiFX has been under CBN observation for the past two and a half years

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele [Reuters]

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has vowed to track down and find Oniwinde Adedotun, the founder of AbokiFX.

The online platform publishes daily foreign exchange rates in the parallel market, and is a popular reference point for traders.

With the advertised rates showing an alarmingly increasing decline of the naira against foreign currencies, Emefiele announced at a media briefing on Friday, September 17, 2021 that AbokiFX is sabotaging the Nigerian economy by publishing speculative black market rates.

The 60-year-old noted that previous attempts to engage Adedotun to understand his model and how he arrives at advertising rates have been unsuccessful.

Emefiele said, "We found him as a Nigerian who lives in England, and conducts this nefarious and criminal activity on our economy.

"It is an economic sabotage and we'll pursue him wherever he is. We will report him to international security agencies.

"We'll track him, Mr Oniwinde, we'll find you, because we cannot allow you to continue to conduct an illegal activity that kills our economy."

The CBN boss said AbokiFX has been under observation for the past two and a half years, and that Nigeria plans to go to the United Kingdom to conduct further investigations.

He said preliminary investigation showed that Adedotun and his UK-registered business have over 25 naira and dollar bank accounts in Nigeria with significant turnover, while only filing the same one account to the UK government containing 1,000 pounds sterling for the past four years.

He also accused Adedotun of being an illegal forex dealer who sold tens of millions of naira in forex to numerous Nigerian companies in contravention of forex laws, while also directly benefiting from the daily rates advertised by AbokiFX.

"Our preliminary findings suggest this website was built and is being used purely for the purpose of forex manipulation and speculation.

"They get naira loans, use it to purchase dollars, take a position, change the rate over a given period, sell the dollars, and make a profit.

"This is completely illegal, unacceptable, and we'll pursue them," he said.

Emefiele said only the CBN has the authority to determine the value of the naira, and that directives have already been issued to go after the AbokiFX website.

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