The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) has described as shameful the attempt by the Department of State Services (DSS) to arrest the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, for alleged terrorism financing.
The Federal High Court, Abuja, had on December 20 last year dismissed the DSS move to arrest the CBN governor for alleged terrorism financing and other acts considered as threats to national security.
In a statement issued on Monday, the SMBLF urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Director-General of DSS, Yusuf Bichi, over the agency’s move to arrest and detain Emefiele for 60 days.
They noted that some forces are determined to remove Emefiele from office over the redesign of the Naira notes.
The statement was signed by the leader of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Edwin Clark, his Afenifere counterpart, Ayo Adebanjo, the President of the Middle Belt Forum, Pogu Bitrus and the Secretary-General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Okey Emuchay.
The statement read: “It is unthinkable that the DSS would so recklessly and casually, accuse Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, of ‘financing terrorism’ and involvement in ‘Economic Crimes of National Security dimension.
“This is not only baffling, but also a shameful disgrace to the Buhari Administration and the Country, and it is capable of unsettling the fragile socio-economic tractions of the country.
“What is the evidence that the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, is involved in ‘Terrorism Financing’? If the allegations against the CBN Governor are genuine, why didn’t the DSS present its findings to the President for consideration and necessary action?
“Truth be told, there are elements within, and outside, the Buhari administration that do not want Mr. Godwin Emefiele to remain in office, as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; the reasons are not farfetched.
“Recall that barely forty-eight hours after the announcement of the redesign of the country’s currency by the CBN, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, disowned the Policy.
“She went on to assert that the redesigning, which the apex bank said is aimed at fighting banditry and kidnapping for ransom, controlling the amount of money in circulation, fighting inflation, and addressing issues of corruption and hoarding of naira notes by individuals, if implemented, would portend great consequences for the Country and its economy.
“Similar disagreeable remarks were made by other top officials, with outrageous postulations and disparaging commentaries also peddled to discredit the person and Office of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“More importantly, SMBLF, calls for a thorough investigation of the incident, to determine officials and individuals behind the disgraceful and subversive plot, and appropriate sanctions must be meted out to anyone found culpable.
“This is a very sensitive matter and must be given serious attention by the government. The misadventure has further brought to the fore the disturbing gaps and discordance in the Buhari administration, which account for the many policy conflicts and misdirection in the government.”
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