'Emefiele should be accorded saboteur status' - National Observatory


File Photo: Suspended CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele with new naira notes

The National Observatory says Godwin Emefiele, the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), should be accorded ‘economic saboteur’ status.

This is contained in a statement signed by Comrade Debo Adeniran, the group’s convener.

It reads, ‘Nigerians from all walks of lives are apprehensive that the Federal Government, through the Department of State Security Services, DSS, may fritter away a great opportunity to deal fatal blows on entrenched economic vampires and saboteurs in the country with the seemingly lack of diligent investigation and prosecution of the suspended Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele.

‘This concern is further accentuated with the spirited attempts by the legal team of the ex-henchman of the apex bank to tie the hands of the Judiciary in ensure the enforcement of the bailout of the former Governor and prevent the State from subjecting him to prosecutions.

‘The National Observatory as a civic engagement body with mandate to prick the conscience of humanity on sensitive issues as they often affect the survival citizens view the various illegal, social, and political transgressions of Mr. Godwin Emefiele during the pendency of his tenure as Governor of the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria as not only Crimes against the State, but indeed, Crimes against the Citizens, if not against humanity.

‘Under Emefiele watch, lives and means of survival of millions of Nigerians were destroyed, his harsh policies – particularly the Naira Re – Design provoked monumental social convulsions leading destruction of properties, businesses, and legacies.

‘Yet, enforcement agencies saddled with responsibilities for bringing Emefiele to justice for his malfeances are obviously handling his prosecution with golden, kid’s glove! Months after Godwin Emefiele suspension from office in June 10, his Lawyers are taking advantage of the inexcusable dithering of prosecutors to seek his reliefs from the Federal High Court, Abuja for Security Agencies to respect the bail granted him and stop the Federal Government, the Attorney General of the Federation from prosecuting him on any charge.

‘Needless to delve on the seemingly deliberate trivialization of the essence of its prosecution. It may be apposite at this juncture to highlight the main accusations levied against the Governor before his suspension, which include–

#. Terrorism funding unknown gunmen, ESN, IPOB;
#. Mismanagement of Nigeria’s social investment programme (NISRAL and the Anchor Borrowers Scheme);
#. Money Laundering; round-tripping; Illegal economic crimes and threats to national security; unwholesome activities through proxies; and Criminal conspiracy and diversion of Government resources.

To the chagrin of all conscientious Nigerians, however, he was merely brought to court with charges of illegal possession of arms and ammunition!

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No matter the parameters that are employed to evaluate the locust years of Godwin Emefiele at the helm of affairs at the apex Bank, the verdict remains that he terribly compromised the nation’s economy and shortchanged its revenue base, He remains the worst Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria since its inception in 1957. The global standard and principle for Central Bank operations spelled out its key functions to revolve around “ regulation of money supply, management of the foreign exchange and gold reserve of the country, managing the cost of credits and its availability, and exercising these functions quietly without publicity hypes or partisanship”. In all these indices, Mr. Godwin Emefiele failed in way never before recorded in our apex banking history: from Roy Pentelow Fenton, 1958–63 at inception, to Alhajji Mai Bornu, 63–67; Dr. Clement Nyong Isong, 72–75; Malam Adamu Ciroma, 75–77; Mr. Ola Vincent, 77–82; Alhajji Abubakir Ahmed, 82–93; Dr. Paul Agbai Ogwuma, 93–99; Chief, Dr. Oladele Sanusi, 99–2004; Prof. Charles Soludo, 2004–2009; Malam Sanusi Lamido-Sanusi, 009–2014; all respectable, trustworthy gentlemen Captain of the country’s financial industry. None, as an individual, was as garrulous or reckless as the reign of Mr. Godwin Emefiele, or even combined!

The crimes of Mr. Godwin Emefiele against Citizens and State are legion; these include:

#. Alleged infractions in the Management of Stamp Duties, which the DSS initiated machinery to investigate his undermining of President Muhammad Buhari, terrorism sponsorship, money laundering, amongst others but stopped the investigations with court orders and was subsequently allowed to be guarded by military personnel.

#. Emefiele’s subterranean purchase of All Progressive Congress, APC Presidential Nomination Form in May 2022 for whooping N100 Million. Whilst he later ignominiously denied the Presidential ambition after intense public outcry, he had earlier gone to court to seek a restraining order against the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and, the Attorney General of the Federation claiming that “ he is not a political appointee but a Public Servant”. Perhaps, he was unaware that he was in gross violation of the Public Service Rule which stipulates Neutrality and Non-Partisanship of all public servants. More importantly, his ambition was also in contravention of Global Ethical Standard Principles for the management of Apex Financial Institutions !

#. Cruel, Illegal execution of Naira Re-Design policy on N200, N500 and, N1000 denominations which the then Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria Bar Association President, Yakuba Maikyau kicked against, the National Assembly for the extension of January 2023 deadline declaration of old Naira notes as default legal tender. Three State Governors of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara had to approach the Supreme Court to stop the Federal government, Attorney General and Central Bank on the implementation of the new Naira notes policy alleging that the “ CBN is conducting a currency confiscation program that has wrought immeasurable sufferings on NIGERIANS”, yet Emefiele instigated Federal Government disobedience of Supreme Court Order to halt the program !

Thus, on June 10, 2023 when the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu announced the suspension of Mr. Godwin Emefiele as the Governor of the Central Bank, as well as his prompt arrest and detention by the DSS, all expectations were that the security and enforcement agencies should have been adequately prepared for full blast prosecution of Emefiele on numerous crimes bordering on “ National Economic Sabotage” , not a melodramatic charge of unlawful possession of arms and ammunition.

Now that facts are emerging that investigation are still going on Mr. Godwin Emefiele infractions during the period he held sway as the points man of the apex bank in the country, the entire Nigerian citizens must be vigilant to swing into affirmative civic actions if there is any ploy for miscarriage of justice. We are not faced by the reports that many high temperatures. We are confident that the ongoing audit of the accounts of the Central Bank, which has not been done in the last Seven years, would expose mind boggling, dirty, shady deals. Politically Exposed Persons are complicit in the crimes of Emefiele. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu should be audacious enough to garner the requisite political sinew to confront this monster. There is no gain in emphasising that the gory, injurious financial misadventures of Mr. Godwin Emefiele and unpatriotic gangs are responsible for the precarious, sordid conditions of our national economy. A lot of public funds are in the pockets of these criminals in our corridors of power. They must be fished out, if the nation is to survive.

There is no rule that a sacred cow must be slaughtered with a golden knife! In saner, democratic climes like the United States of America (USA), former President Donald Trump was duly investigated, prosecuted and indicted, in South Africa, another former President Jacob Zuma was investigated, prosecuted and jailed.

The Nigerian poor must not only remain alert but mount a vigilant guard by rising in mammoth rallies whenever Emefiele appears in court. It should be turned into a tribunal of the people for his heinous crimes against citizens. The President should demonstrate absolute commitment to bring Mr. Godwin Emefiele and his felon Economic Saboteurs to Justice without minding whose Ox is gored!

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