According to Anaedoonline.ng, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor, deployed military personnel and intelligence officers on Monday to ensure that the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, who returned to the country from the United Kingdom, was not arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS).
According to top sources, Emefiele was shielded by military soldiers given by the CDS office in Abuja on Tuesday. He had been under the DSS radar for several weeks following the probe of several claims against him, including corruption and terrorism financing.
Following his return to the country, the CBN governor was accompanied by substantial security, notably military protection, according to news reports on Monday.
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“Apparently the Chief of Defence Staff was the one that aided Emefiele to defy the DSS upon arrival. Irabor deployed the military police and intelligence to ensure Emefiele was not arrested,” one of the sources revealed on Tuesday morning.
According to CBN sources, the security detail accompanying Emefiele to the bank was larger than that of Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari.
“Emefiele has returned to Nigeria. He went to the CBN with massive security. He was given military protection. His security is bigger than that of the President,” one of the sources had said in a terse message to Newsmen.
Last Thursday, news outlets reported that the apex bank boss was still abroad, reluctant to return to Nigeria for fear of being caught and held by the secret police.
According to one of the sources, the secret police were on high alert and looking for Emefiele. According to the source, Emefiele would be arrested regardless of his antics or the current court judgement.
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Emefiele was a member of President Muhammadu Buhari’s entourage at the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC on December 13-15, 2022.
While Buhari returned to Abuja the day following the conference, the CBN governor purposefully delayed his return to Nigeria.
Multiple sources told Newsmen last Friday that some of President Muhammadu Buhari’s cronies were leading the campaign to prevent the DSS from arresting Emefiele.
The President’s associates, led by Mamman Daura, the President’s nephew and close friend, and Nasir El-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna State, were described as aggressively supporting the CBN governor.
Several groups and civil society organizations have warned of a plot to blame Emefiele for terrorism and remove him from power.
The DSS, on the other hand, issued a strong warning against being used to “undermine” its investigations, but it did not directly identify Emefiele.
DSS spokesperson Peter Afunanya stated that the service would not be diverted by those aiming to use “propaganda” to undermine its authorized investigations.
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However, sources told Newsmen that some monarchs – Obas and Emirs – had been lobbied and sent to beg on Emefiele’s behalf and persuade the President and Director-General of the DSS that Emefiele should be allowed to go.
It was also discovered that Mamman Daura and El-Rufai were “working hard and doing everything in their power to wage war on the DG of DSS (Yusuf Bichi)”.
“They have deployed Obas and Emirs to beg on behalf of Emefiele and Governor Nasir El-Rufai leading the charge to fight for him,” one of the sources said.
Emefiele was said to have helped the Kaduna governor secure a World Bank loan worth $350 million.
“Emefiele helped Governor El-Rufai to secure $350m World Bank loan out of which the governor made for himself N70 per dollar after the cash was sold to Aliko Dangote.
“Emefiele has serious stakes in 12 banks. He needs to explain how he got money to be a major stakeholder in 12 banks. He has stakes in Tita, Globus, Providence, Union Bank, big interest in First Bank and others,” a source had said.
“Mamman Daura is still working hard for him not to be arrested. He is still waging war against the Director-General of the DSS and other top officials.”
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Meanwhile, a Federal High Court in Maitama, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, issued an order prohibiting the DSS from arresting, detaining, or questioning Emefiele.
In the last eight years, the CBN chairman refined preparations to cover up his corruption records, according to news reports.
Emefiele, who has been governor since 2014, is the first individual in nearly 20 years to serve two terms as the head of Nigeria’s central bank.
He was originally appointed in June 2014 by then-President Goodluck Jonathan, after Sarah Alade completed the term of the suspended Lamido Sanusi.
In violation of the CBN Act, Emefiele joined the ruling All Progressives Congress in 2021.
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The action is taken in violation of Section 9 of the CBN Act of 2007, which states that “the Governor and the Deputy Governors shall devote the whole of their time to the service of the bank and shall not engage in any full or part-time employment or vocation, whether remunerated or not, except such personal or charitable causes as may be determined by the Board and which do not conflict with or detract from their full-time duties.”
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