• Thu. Mar 30th, 2023

    Emefiele resumes, says CBN, as DSS denies invading office


    Jan 16, 2023

    By Bassey Udo

    Amid speculations about his being in hiding since his reported secret return to the country last week, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele, resumed work on Monday after a two weeks’ vacation.

    The Director, Corporate Communications of CBN, Osita Nwanisobi, confirmed Emefiele’s return in a statement in Abuja.

    The statement reads: “The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has resumed duty after his
    annual vacation abroad. Mr. Emefiele, who proceeded on leave in December 2022, resumed work today, Monday, January 16, 2023.

    “The Governor resumed with renewed vigour to perform his duty ahead of the first Monetary
    Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the year scheduled for January 23 to 24, 2023.

    “Mr. Emefiele remains committed to performing the task before him in line with his oath of office and the policy direction of President Muhammadu Buhari.

    “While thanking the public for keeping faith with the Bank, we urge Nigerians to continue to
    support the policies of the Bank aimed at ensuring a stable financial system and the Nigerian economy in general.”

    Shortly after reports of the CBN governor’s resumption, speculations were rife that operatives of the SSS immediately swooped on the apex bank’s headquarters located at the Central Business District in Abuja and arrested him.

    But a swift statement by the DSS spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, denied the action, describing it as false and misleading.

    Afunanya said in the statement titled ‘CBN not invaded by DSS’: “The attention of the Department of State Services (DSS) has been drawn to the false news making the rounds that its operatives invaded the Central Bank of Nigeria and arrested its Governor, today 16/1/23. This is fake news and quite misleading.”

    Last Thursday, Emefiele was reported to have secretly returned to the country the previous day after weeks abroad amid a running battle with the state security service who threatened to arrest him over allegations of corruption and terrorism financing levelled against him.

    Prior to his trip outside the country, operatives of the DSS were said to have been on his trail since last December after its failed attempt to secure an order of the Federal High Court, Abuja to arrest him.

    The DSS had requested the court to order CBN governor’s over alleged “acts of financing terrorism, fraudulent activities and economic crimes of national security dimension.”

    The DSS application No. FHC/ABJ/CS/2255/2022 filed on December 7, 2022.
    However, the presiding judge, John Tsoho, in his ruling on December 9 turned down the DSS request on grounds that they failed to advance sufficient evidence about the various acts of terrorism financing, fraudulent activities allegedly committed by the CBN governor to warrant the issuance of an order to arrest him.

    Most observers say the CBN governor’s travails may not be unconnected with the recent decision by the apex bank to seek and receive the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to redesign some of the country’s currency notes.

    The decision, which took most people unawares, is said to have unsettled several vested interests, which the CBN accuse of being responsible for the hoarding of over 80 percent of the country’s money in circulation outside the banking system.

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