The Department of State Security, DSS, has vowed to immediately arrest the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who is currently on a medical trip overseas, anytime he arrives and seen around the country.
Sources in the DSS confirmed that Emefiele would immediately be charged to court for terrorism once he is sighted and arrested upon his return to Nigeria.
This is coming on the heels of pressure being mounted on the President Mohammadu Buhari to direct the CBN Governor to reverse the cash withdrawal policy that appears to be standing in the way of the vote buying plans of political parties ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Emefiele is being accused of funding terrorism.
The DSS had secretly filed a suit to have the CBN Governor arrested over terrorism charges. The ex-parte suit, filed at the Federal High Court Abuja, before John Tsoho was however dismissed by the court.
The Judge had accused the DSS of a subterranean ploy “to deceive the court into granting a frivolous order to help them arrest and deprive an innocent man of his personal liberty.”
In the suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/2255/2022 and its affidavit depositions, DSS had averred that its preliminary investigation revealed various acts of terrorism financing, fraudulent activities perpetrated by Emefiele and his involvement in economic crimes of national security dimension.
Security confirmed that after the collapse of the court case brought against Emefiele by the DSS, the Secret police has not relented and have made several approaches to President Buhari to have the apex Bank chief arrested.
Although, while it is not immediately known if such request to have Emefiele arrested have been granted by the President, the DSS has been snooping around the CBN headquarters, homes of the CBN Governor in Lagos, Abuja and Delta to get him arrested when sighted.
The Director General, DSS, Yusuf Bichi, appointed a special team and instructed them to arrest Emefiele anytime and anywhere he is found within the country.
“Yes, I can confirm to you that such instructions have been passed on to us. We will arrest him anywhere he is found. Our men are on the lookout,’ a senior DSS operative in the headquarters said.
Another source also confirmed that Bichi has vowed that nobody can stop him in his resolve to have Emefiele arrested and charged to court anytime he is found.
“The DG is not joking. He has said nobody can stop him. And Bichi that I know would stop at nothing in ensuring that he carries out the arrest. He is very determined,” the source who would not want to be named.
Meanwhile, some top politicians are pilling pressures on President Buhari to direct the CBN Governor to reverse the cash withdrawal policy.
On December 6, the CBN had said that with effect from January 9, 2023, the maximum over-the-counter cash withdrawal limit by individuals and corporate organisations per week, would be N100,000 and N500,000 respectively, adding that withdrawals above these limits would attract processing fees of five per cent and 10 per cent respectively.
It further stated that maximum cash withdrawal per week via Automated Teller Machines, from January 9, would be N100,000 subject to a maximum of N20,000 cash withdrawal per day.
But on Wednesday by the CBN’s Director of Banking Supervision, Haruna Mustafa, said the CBN had reviewed upwards the maximum weekly limit for cash withdrawal across all channels by individuals and corporate organisations to N500,000 and N5m respectively.
Despite the review, some politicians are not pleased and are asking the President to wade in and direct the CBN to go back to the old policy where individual can withdraw as much as they want.
Sources confirmed that the CBN is bent on retaining the withdrawal limit policy to reduce money politics ahead of the 2023 general elections