Yesterday, the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu announced the suspension of Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the embattled governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The news of Emefiele’s suspension and arrest by the officials of State Security Service (SSS) has become the trending headlines in national dailies.
Credible sources around the presidency and the intelligence community revealed that Emefiele was suspended for several reasons, including his recent role in the naira swap and cashless policy that significantly reduced the money in circulation in the country, thereby posing a threat to the conduct of the 2023 general elections.
Before the February 25th presidential election, Tinubu had expressed concerns about the naira policy, claiming it was targeted at him. However, he remained confident of winning the election despite alleged sabotage. Tinubu was eventually declared the winner and sworn in on May 29th. Yesterday, through a statement by the Director of Information, Willie Bassey, on behalf of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume, Emefiele’s suspension was announced. The statement mentioned ongoing investigations in his office and planned reforms in the financial sector as the reasons for the suspension.
Emefiele’s suspension and arrest could be related to various allegations published by an online publication, Premium Times. These allegations include funding unknown gunmen, ESN, and IPOB with money raised for his failed presidential bid, as well as mismanagement of Nigeria’s social investment program and the Anchor Borrowers Scheme. Emefiele is also accused of engaging in illegal economic crimes, money laundering, unwholesome activities through proxies, round-tripping, conferring financial benefits to himself and others, threatening national security, conspiring to divert government resources, and financing terrorism.
The report by the online medium raises further questions about Emefiele’s alleged sabotage of President Buhari’s administration, financing terrorism, and committing other economic crimes that undermine Nigeria’s national security.
The allegations against Emefiele, as published by the online publication Premium Times, can be numbered as follows:
- Funding unknown gunmen, ESN, and IPOB with money raised for his failed presidential bid last year and funds diverted from government coffers.
- Mismanagement of Nigeria’s social investment program (NISRAL and the Anchor Borrowers Scheme).
- Illegal economic crimes of national security dimension.
- Money laundering.
- Unwholesome activities through proxies.
- Conferment of financial benefits to self and others.
- Threat to national security.
- Criminal conspiracy to divert government resources.
- Terrorism financing.
These are the allegations listed in the report regarding Emefiele’s actions and conduct.