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QuickRead: Tinubu’s move to probe CBN. Four other stories we tracked and why they matter



President Bola Tinubu last week appointed a special investigator to probe the activities of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the watch of its suspended governor, Godswill Emefiele.

This and four other stories were tracked from last week for your reading pleasure.

1. Tinubu’s move to probe CBN

On July 30, the president appointed the former Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), Jim Osayande Obazee, as the special investigator to probe the activities of the apex bank in the last few years.

President Tinubu also attached a copy of the order suspending Emefiele as CBN governor to the letter forwarded to the special investigator.

The letter read: “In accordance with the fundamental objective set forth in Section 15(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), this administration is today, continuing the fight against corruption by appointing you as a Special Investigator, to investigate the CBN and Related Entities. This appointment shall be with immediate effect and you are to report directly to my office.”

Why it matters

The forensic audit of the CBN might not be unconnected with the president’s ‘desperation’ to punish the Delta State-born banker for contemplating the redesign of the naira notes; an exercise he alleged was aimed at undermining his success in the February 25 election.

Emefiele’s suspension, his detention by the Department of State Service (DSS) and his treatment thereafter suggest that the failed naira experiment has been turned into a bitter personality clash between the president and the CBN governor that must be settled at all cost, not minding the approach.

Nigerians will only hope the report of the forensic audit will not be swept under the carpet like the previous exercises, including the one undertaken in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) under former President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch.

2. Ganduje’s emergence as APC chairman
Kano govt records 6 COVID-19 related deaths as total infections reach 666

The former Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, on August 3 emerged as the new national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He was elected at the party’s 12th National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

Ganduje, who addressed party leaders after he emerged as the APC’s new chairman, promised to promote unity and sustain the party’s winning capacity.

He said: “Under my watch, internal democracy will be strictly adhered to with a deliberate policy to engage in wider consultations and make party functional throughout the year.
“More reforms will be carried out in the party in alignment with the current political landscape.”

Why it matters

The emergence of the former governor as national chairman has thrown up more questions on the sanctity of the party’s constitution from the North-Central perspective, a region that was denied the right to produce the next occupier of the office.

With such a wrong call, the ruling party may have set its own house on fire with many prominent members of its National Working Committee (NWC) stepping down from their roles over perceived injustice and calibre of the person adopted as the new chairman.

It will not be a surprise if more NWC members join Salihu Lukman and the former National Legal Adviser, Ahmed El-Marzuq, to walk out of the committee rather than work with a chairman who is currently under scrutiny for matters bordering on integrity.

3. EFCC appeals court ruling on Lamido
EFCC re-arraigns Sule Lamido, sons for alleged N1.4bn fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has approached the Supreme Court to set aside the appeal court’s ruling which discharged the former Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido, on money laundering charges.

READ ALSO:QuickRead: Stella Oduah’s arraignment. Four other stories we tracked and why they matter

In a statement issued on August 1 by its Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, the commission declared that the court erred in law by discharging the former governor and his two sons.

The statement read: “In a notice of appeal filed at the supreme court and dated July 31, 2023, the EFCC is asking the apex court to set aside the whole decision of the court of appeal and order a return of the case to the trial court to continue and conclude same, on the grounds that the appellate court erred in law when it discharged the respondents.”

Why it matters

The discharge of the ex-governor illustrates the technicalities associated with the dispensation of justice in Nigeria where cases many thought would end in convictions turned out in favour of the accused.

However, It may not be Uhuru for Lamido as the commission has just exercised the right of appeal on the matter and the pendulum may swing in the prosecution’s favour.

But the onus lies on EFCC and other anti-graft agencies to always discharge the burden of proof on criminal cases before filing such in court.

4. Obi rejects EIU’s report on election petition

The Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, on July 31 rejected the report of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on the outcome of the presidential election petition.

The EIU had in its earlier report predicted that the presidential election petition tribunal would uphold President Bola Tinubu’s victory in the February 25 election.

However, in a statement issued by the Head of the Media Office of Obi/Datti Campaign Organisation, Diran Onifade, the former Anambra State governor described the report as a poorly done job.

The statement read: “We are taken aback that after a long silence, it is most appalling that a highly reputed analytical entity will engage in such a counter-intuitive prediction.
“Every foreign and domestic observers’ report classified the election as egregiously flawed. Such contentions are sufficient grounds for the upturning of the election results by the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) as sufficient evidence was provided to prove that the election was substantially flawed and did not meet the acceptable standard for a credible election.”

Why it matters

It would seem that the Labour Party is relying on the reports on election observers and post-election resentments to give it victory at the election petition tribunal.

Although the report of the European Union Election Observation Mission and other observers may have given credence to the opinions of many Nigerians on the conduct of the election, it remains to be seen if the evidence adduced by these organizations and subpoenaed witnesses would be enough to turn the tide in favour of the opposition at the tribunal.

5. Onanaeze decries killing in South-East

The apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, on August 2 lamented that at least 250 people had been killed during the sit-at-home in the South-East.

The group’s President-General, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, who disclosed this in a statement in Owerri, Imo State, said: “The Ohanaeze, once again, condemns the incessant call for sit-at-home in the South-East by Simon Ekpa. It is, indeed, disheartening that the people of the region are being subjected to hardships by this development.
“It is an illegal order that had caused the Igbo people to endure unspeakable suffering and suffered the loss of lives and property.
“Worst still, over 250 people have been killed through the enforcement of these orders.”

Why it matters

The carnage arising from the enforcement of the sit-at-home order in the South-East by criminals has reinforced the need for the Tinubu administration to find a political solution to the crisis, including the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) secessionist agitation and the travails of its detained leader, Nnamdi Kanu, to save the region from convulsing further.

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