Despite massive military protection both at home and in his office, the Department of State Services (DSS) has reportedly stepped up investigations to arrest and prosecutes the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.
Naija News reports that the DSS is investigating Emefiele over allegations of terrorism financing and fraud.
According to court documents obtained by Premium Times, the CBN governor is being accused of funding “unknown gunmen” and members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Emefiele was also accused of sabotaging President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration by financing terrorism, aiding and abetting terrorism, and committing other economic crimes to undermine Nigeria’s national security.
The DSS accused the former presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of mismanaging the CBN subsidiary, NIRSAL, and the central bank’s Anchor Borrowers Programme.
According to the secret police, Emefiele funded IPOB/ESN with the resources he raised for his failed presidential bid last year, and funds diverted from government coffers.
The DSS said he mismanaged various interventionist funds of the government under his control and concluded that “investigation is still ongoing on a wider scale as other members of the syndicate chain need to be identified and arrested to enable successful prosecution.”
DSS Investigations Continue
Daily Trust reports that following its earlier unsuccessful attempt at arresting the apex bank governor, the secret police has renewed its investigations into the multiple allegations to arrest and prosecute Emefiele.
Multiple sources reveal that the DSS is not relenting in unraveling all the suspicions around the CBN governor.
Insider sources told Daily Trust that the CBN governor is still on the investigation radar of the DSS.
According to sources, the DSS was discreetly continuing to investigate the multiple allegations against Emefiele.
The secret police are also said to be attempting to convince President Buhari on the need to carry through with the investigations, given the weighty nature of allegations against the CBN governor.
A senior DSS operative told Daily Trust in confidence that the soldiers provided by the CDS countermanded the DSS officials who went to arrest Emefiele at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
“Had we not stood down our officers, there could have been a shootout between our men and the soldiers who had cordoned off the area when the plane landed and escorted the CBN governor to his residence,” he said.
Security sources have also told Daily Trust that soldiers deployed by the CDS are still providing security cover for Emefiele both at his residence and his office.
“They are guarding his official residence and also escorting him to his office on a daily basis,” said a security source.
When contacted with the allegation that the military still provided soldiers to protect Emefiele, the Acting Director of Defence Information, Brig.-Gen, Tukur Gusau, told Daily Trust that the military had constantly been deploying its personnel to man and secure critical assets across the country.
He said that such deployment was not about a personality or individual but the asset which benefits every Nigerian.
“What I know is that, we have deployment at the Central Bank of Nigeria and for other critical national assets. If you go to NNPC too, you will see our person.
“It is not only in Abuja here, we have such deployments, you will see that type of deployment in Lagos and other places where the critical national assets are located or situated,” Gusau said.
Recall that reports emerged on Monday, December 19, 2022, of the DSS approaching the Federal High Court in Abuja seeking an order to arrest and detain Godwin Emefiele.
Naija News reports that Justice John Tsoho, the Chief Judge of the High Court, in declining the motion ex parte, filed by an applicant in the absence of the respondent, said the secret police did not provide any concrete evidence to substantiate its claims that Emefiele was involved in terrorism financing and economic crimes
This online news platform reports that the move by the DSS was greeted by massive protests by human rights lawyers, and civil society groups including the Arewa Youth Consultative Movement, which raised the alarm over an alleged plot by the DSS to frame up Emefiele over alleged terrorism sponsorship against Nigeria.
In another ruling the DSS and Police were stopped by a High Court in Abuja from arresting and detaining Godwin Emefiele.
The court had also restrained the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the CBN, who are listed as 1st, 2nd and 5th defendants.
The presiding judge, Justice MA Hassan gave the order while delivering judgment in a suit marked FCT/HC/CV/GAR/41/2022, filed by the Incorporated Trustees of Forum for Accountability and Good Leadership