AbokiFX resumes operations following Emefiele’s suspension

Adeniyi Odukoya
AbokiFX resumes operations following Emefiele's suspension

Popular Nigerian foreign exchange company, AbokiFX has finally resumed operation as it now enjoys some reprieve following the suspension of former CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele. Emefiele got suspended from office in June, immediately arrested, and bundled away by Nigeria’s secret police, the State Security Service (SSS), on the orders from the President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Before his suspension, Emefiele had requested that the owner of AbokiFX, Oniwinde Adedotun be placed under investigation. Businessday reports that the suspended Governor of the CBN accused Mr Adedotun of forex fraud at the Monetary Policy Committee meeting in September 2021.

“Some Nigerians do not give CBN any benefit of doubt at all. They simply believe all we do here is hunt people down. They forget that there are many unscrupulous actors in the economy,” Emefiele’s CBN had said at the time.

Per the report, Emefiele stated that Adedotun used AbokiFX for forex fraud, manipulations, and speculations by acquiring forex to make a profit, describing him as an illegal trader. 

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“There was a time we asked our colleagues to call the AbokiFX to ask how he conducts the rates,” Emefiele had said. He also alleged that Mr. Adedotun lives in the UK and publishes arbitrary rates without contacting BDCs.

AbokiFX resumes operations following Emefiele's suspension

Emefiele described the AbokiFX owner as an illegal fx dealer that has inflow and sold tens of millions of foreign exchange to several Nigerian companies in contravention of the foreign exchange law. As such, he claims Mr Adedotun directly benefits from the rates he quotes daily on his website.

“He is a Nigerian living in England. We will track him, Mr. Oniwinde. We will track you. We cannot allow you to continue to kill our economy,” Emefiele had said at the time.

Mr. Emefiele said the only exchange rate market remains the I&E window at the time.

“I am sorry to say that I do not, and I do not intend to recognize any fx in the market,” he said.

AbokiFX suspended operations following the call for investigation, keeping a low profile to avoid attracting extra accusations from the suspended CBN governor.

AbokiFX is back

On Monday, July 10, 2023, the platform displayed one dollar at N790 and N795 for buying and selling correspondingly. Pounds was quoted at N1,005 and N1,015 for buying and selling that same day, while Euro traded at the buying rate of N845 and selling rate of N850.

BusinessDay gathered that the parallel trader resumed operation following the suspension of Emefiele by President Bola Tinubu and the collapse of the various foreign exchange window into the Investors and Exporters (I&E) forex window last month.

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Launched in 2014, AbokiFX is branded as a research and information service interested in conducting market research and gathering data on parallel market rates. With a strong desire for transparency around the parallel market through information technology, it has risen to be very popular amongst Nigerians.

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The platform provides benchmark parallel rate information which helps guide users in almost 200 countries worldwide. The owner, Mr. Oniwinde, is a chartered accountant from South Ockendon, Essex. He was born in September 1975. He is British and resident in England with his family.

He registered the company in the UK in 2015 as a sole owner, but also there are other significant owners, which include Boaz Associates Limited, Esther’s Limited, ES Merchant Limited, and AbokiFX, a company he founded six years ago. As of January 2020, he owned 75 – 100 percent of shares and had the right to remove and appoint directors.

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