•••Nigerian Secret Police, DSS To Interrogate Top Central Bank Directors, Emefiele’s Special Adviser, Officials In Procurement Department
Nigerian secret police, the Department of State Services, will be interrogating other top directors of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in its ongoing probe of its suspended governor, Godwin Emefiele.
According to the DSS, other officials lined up are also a Special Adviser to Emefiele, and senior personnel in the CBN Procurement Department, who would be quizzed in the coming week.
A source in the secret police stated, “One of those under the radar of the DSS is a special adviser to the CBN governor. He retired from the CBN in 2021 as a director but was retained by Emefiele as a special adviser. He is believed to have an inside knowledge of all the actions taken by Emefiele.
“Other subjects of interest are senior officials and directors in the procurement department. The fact is that many top directors will be invited or arrested for questioning in the weeks ahead.”
According to PUNCH, Emefiele, his aides and other top directors would be grilled on a number of issues relating to loans worth billions of naira given to farmers under the Fadama scheme, which were believed to have been marred by fraud; the controversial sale of Polaris Bank, which was also allegedly fraught with irregularities; alleged financing of the Indigenous People of Biafra by the suspended CBN boss, and other allegations bordering on forex fraud.
The CBN chiefs are also expected to answer tough questions on the apex bank’s fiscal policies, including the handling of the naira redesign policy, which led to the scarcity of naira notes and caused a nationwide economic crisis, resulting in riots, attacks on banks and death of some citizens.
“Their level of complicity will determine if they will retain their jobs or face prosecution at the end of investigation,” another source stated.
The media had on Saturday reported that the DSS confirmed it had arrested Emefiele for investigative reasons.
“EMEFIELE, NOW IN DSS CUSTODY – The Department of State Services (DSS) hereby confirms that Mr Godwin Emefiele, the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is now in its custody for some investigative reasons.
“The public, particularly the Media, is enjoined to apply utmost caution in the reportage and narratives concerning this,” Peter Afunanya, the Public Relations Officer, DSS, had said.
The media had reported that top sources confirmed that the DSS had flown Emefiele from Lagos to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, after his arrest on Friday evening.
Our correspondent further gathered that the embattled CBN governor was fleeing Nigeria through the land border in Lagos when he was arrested by the DSS.
“Emefiele has been flown from Lagos to Abuja after the DSS arrested him. He was fleeing through the land border when he was arrested. He was arrested last night in Lagos,” an authoritative source revealed.
The media had earlier reported that Emefiele’s arrest came same day the President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, suspended him from office with immediate effect.
Hotmedia.ng earlier reported that Emefiele was suspended “sequel to the ongoing investigation of his office and the planned reforms in the financial sector of the economy” according to a release by Willie Bassey, the Director, Information, for the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume.
“Mr Emefiele has been directed to immediately hand over the affairs of his office to the Deputy Governor (Operations Directorate), who will act as the Central Bank Governor pending the conclusion of investigation and the reforms,” the release further said.
The media had in February reported how the DSS attempted to arrest Emefiele, but the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor, shielded him by providing soldiers to guard his residence and office.
The DSS had said it intensified its investigations in order to arrest and prosecute Emefiele, on allegations of terrorism financing and fraud.
The media had also in February reported that new court documents obtained from the DSS indicted Emefiele for funding “unknown gunmen” terrorising the Southeast region of the country.
DSS investigation revealed that the apex bank governor funded the groups with resources he raised for his failed presidential bid in 2022 and diverted public funds.