Home » Terrorism financing/fraud allegations: Order Emefiele to step aside for probe, 259 CSOs tell Buhari

Terrorism financing/fraud allegations: Order Emefiele to step aside for probe, 259 CSOs tell Buhari

…say President should urgently act on various security reports submitted to him on CBN Gov

Following the myriads of allegations levelled against the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, by the Department of State Services, 259 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the apex bank’s boss to step aside from office and submit himself for investigations.

The DSS has consistently accused Emefiele of involvement in various acts of terrorism financing, economic crimes of national security dimension and “gargantuan fraud.”

Several other “damning” allegations against the CBN governor, as revealed in preliminary investigations by the DSS, are also contained in the security reports already submitted by the secret police to President Buhari.

But the apex bank boss has continued to shun invitations by the DSS for questioning, hiding under a purported “Presidential Order” from President Buhari insulating himself and other CBN chiefs from any probe by the secret police and other security agencies.

However, as of 12noon on Tuesday, First News learnt that a private jet had already been hired by Emefiele to fly him out of the country in his bid to “escape arrest and prosecution” by the incoming administration.

But he was said to have been stopped by some vigilant security operatives.

However, First News gathered that there are strong indications that the CBN governor had not given up on his attempts to escape from the country.

Recall that Emefiele has for some time now been guarded by heavy military escort provided by troops of the Nigerian Army.

COTER, however, stated that the Buhari administration, globally known for its anti-corruption stance, should have directed Emefiele to first clear his name with the security agencies when he returned from his recent trip abroad, before being allowed to continue in office as CBN Governor.

The Coalition noted that “in a great country such as ours, Emefiele ought not to still be in office as CBN governor, given the various damning and weighty allegations levelled against him by security agencies, and which are also already in public domain, without first making himself physically available to the security agencies to clear his name.”

The group, therefore, expressed regret that since Buhari had failed to order the CBN governor to submit himself for investigations concerning the various allegations levelled against him by the DSS, it would be appropriate for it to make the following demands on the matter:

1.Your Excellency should immediately direct the CBN governor to immediately step aside from office as the apex bank’s boss for proper investigation of the CBN.

  1. Emefiele should be ordered to make himself available for investigations to clear his name. It is imperative Emefiele proves his innocence before the investigative bodies. Mr. President, this is imperative if you want to maintain your hard-earned reputation, sir. Mr. President, directing Emefiele to so do has become imperative because Nigerians, who believe in the anti-corruption stance of your administration, are keenly waching and wondering whether the indicted CBN governor will be accorded the sacred cow privilege and allowed to go scot-free under the watch of Your Excellency. Infact, the CBN governor should be ordered and compelled to immediately submit his office and person for necessary probe.
  2. The various security reports on the CBN Governor should be made public and published for all to see.
  3. Your Excellency must order the recovery of the monies stolen by Emefiele under your administration since 2015. COTER believes that your administration should not hand over a corruption-infested CBN to the incoming administration.
  4. COTER also calls on the Federal Government to immediately order the conduct of comprehensive investigations of the entire CBN operations under Emefiele.
  5. Your Excellency, Ways and Means request figures presented by Emefiele and the Minister of Finance to the National Assembly for approval over the years should be immediately further investigated. The figures have been found to not only be fraudulent but also incorrect. It’s time to scrutinise the over-inflated figures.
  6. COTER also requests that travel ban be placed by the Federal Government on Emefiele and other indicted persons as the CBN governor along with his other accomplices, according to security reports, is now making frantic efforts to escape from the country in this month of March.
  7. Mr President, sir, the Coalition is also calling for the setting up of a special consolidated account by the government for the safekeeping of funds recovered from Emefiele and others.
  8. COTER will further advise Your Excellency that the Federal Government should offset all debts owed and loans from the huge funds to be recovered from Emefiele and his cohorts before your administration leaves office so that the incoming administration will start on a clean slate. We don’t want the incoming administration to inherit debts. Nigerians will no longer tolerate complaints about Government’s inability to perform due to huge debt owed by a previous administration.
  9. Above all, COTER demands the immediate arrest and prosecution of Emefiele and all others involved in all these monumental economic sabotage and heinous financial crimes against the Nigerian state.
  10. Your Excellency, the varous security agencies should, therefore, be given the clearance and authorisation to perform their constitutional duty of investigating, arresting and questioning all those suspected of committing financial and economic crimes against the Nigerian state, no matter how highly placed they may be.
  11. Your Excellency, the purported Presidential Order directing CBN officials not to honour any invitation by the DSS because of an existing court injunction should be immediately withdrawn. This is conferring undue immunity on Emefiele and other CBN officials against being investigated, questioned and prosecuted by the appropriate security agecies. Your Excellency, the fact is that Emefiele has continued to hide under this Presidential Order to perpetrate humonguous frauds at the CBN. He must be stopped now to save the reputation of your administration and preserve your anti-corruption legacy for the future generations of Nigerians.

These demands of the 259 CSOs under the aegis of the Coalition for Transparency and Economic Reforms (COTER) for Emefiele to physically submit himself to the DSS for questioning are contained in a petition jointly signed by their President, Dr Peter Chima Chukwu and General Secretary, Mallam Auta Ibrahim Koko, already submitted to President Buhari and entitled, “A Petition Requesting Your Excellency To Direct The Central Bank (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, To Immediately Step Aside From Office And Submit Himself For Investigations To Clear Himself Of Weighty Allegations of Terrorism Financing, Corruption And Abuse Of Office.”

The Coalition also copied the petition to the President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Femi Gbajabiamila; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari; Inspector General of Police, Alkali Baba; Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr Yusuf Bichi; Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); and the Accountant-General of the Federation.

Envoys of the various foreign missions in Nigeria, including the Ambassadors and High Commissioners of the United States of America, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Norway, South Africa, Australia, Israel, Sweden, Denmark, Turkey, China and Spain were also copied the petition.

COTER, which praised President Buhari’s leadership of the country in the past seven years, however, stated that “all these lofty achievements of your administration will pale into insignificance and your legacies could even be completely erased if Your Excellency does not act fast within the few weeks left for your administration,” and allow the security agencies to probe the CBN governor.

The Coalition’s petition further partly stated, “Your Excellency, sir, it is imperative that you take action on Emefiele now in order not to continue to jeopardise your laudable achievements and lofty legacies you intend to leave behind as a true leader of the country.

“Your Excellency, sir, the appalling and gargantuan fraud already perpetrated by the CBN Governor for years now, particularly under your administration, should no longer be overlooked by the Federal Government.

“Mr President, COTER will therefore like to use this medium to demand your immediate action against the perennial and persistent fraudulent activities of Mr Emefiele, in cahoots with some other Nigerians, in siphoning the public money in the custody of the CBN under various phoney headings, especially since 2015 when your administration came into office.

“Your Excellency, the unabashed corrupt stance of the CBN Governor and his cohorts leaves very bad taste in the mouth!

“Your Excellency, it is public knowledge that Emefiele began to perpetrate these monumental frauds immediately he got into office and only became more daring and unperturbed under your administration.

“Mr President, it is a well-known fact that the CBN Governor has been colluding with some corrupt individuals to move huge public funds from the apex bank’s into personal accounts without the knowledge of the Federal Government.

“Your Excellency, we are aware that according to the various security reports before you, Emefiele has siphoned hundreds of trillions of Naira under your watch from the CBN using various guises since 2015. Mr President, this is highly scandalous!

“Your Excellency, sir, it will shock you to understand that these monumental frauds being perpetrated at the CBN are the reasons for the various harsh and anti-people monetary policies being foisted on Nigerians by Emefiele and his cohorts. Mr President, these inhuman monetary policies are kegs of gunpowder being heated and the results of which will be nothing but renewed agitations, perennial restiveness, wanton violence and needless destruction as well as the general insecurity and social maladies that your administration has been battling with since 2015.

“Mr President, sir, the disgrace the CBN has brought upon the person of Your Excellency, your administration and the entire Federal Government, going by the Supreme Court’s recent pronouncement on Emefiele’s controversial new monetary policy, cannot be imagined! The reversal of the CBN policy by the apex court, after Emefiele had subjected all Nigerians to excruciating pains and sufferings, has no doubt detracted so much from the laudable achievements already recorded by your administration in the past seven years.

“Your Excellency, that your administration has exercised serious caution and restraints regarding taking action over the monumental damning allegations of corruption against the CBN Governor is confounding! But now that the elections are over and your administration is less encumbered, COTER humbly requests Your Excellency to immediately look into the various security reports on Emefiele and act on them to save your hard-earned reputation as an incorruptible leader popular for waging consistent war against corruption and graft.

“Your Excellency, you are already aware of some of the damning allegations of terrorism financing and corruption that the Department of State Services (DSS) has been investigating Emefiele for. These allegations, which are already in public domain, are also contained in the reports the security agencies have already submitted to your office and also contained in court records.

“According to these report, Your Excellency, preliminary investigations have revealed Emefiele’s involvement in various acts of terrorism financing, fraudulent activities and economic crimes of national security dimension.”

The group’s petition further stated, “But it will interest Your Excellency to learn that the CBN Governor has continued to employ all means to escape arrest and interrogation by the DSS. For example, Mr. Emefiele recently delayed his return to Nigeria after a trip abroad. He also engaged some highly placed persons in the Presidential Villa to help him to prevail on the DSS to let him off the hook. The CBN governor has also been employing propaganda through sponsored organised public protests and demonstrations by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), all in a bid to stop his investigations and prosecution by the DSS.

“Mr President, some of your close confidants and associates are alleged to be the arrowheads of the highly influential and powerful politicians pressuring the DSS DG, Yusuf Bichi to let go of Emefiele, resulting in the inability of the secret police to interrogate the apex bank boss on the allegations leveled against him.

“Your Excellency, unknown to the CBN Governor, while he was out of the country recently, we are aware that the DSS interrogated and obtained documentary evidence against him (Emefiele) from some CBN directors and commercial banks’ Managing Directors/CEOs. It was in the course of these widened investigations that the DSS unearthed 12 fresh allegations against the CBN Governor; which are also obtainable in the public domain.

“Mr President, sir, it is contained in the reports already on your table that during interrogation, CBN external auditors, who have been working for the apex bank in the past six years, “gave evidence under caution” and provided documents to back their claim that Emefiele paid them to prepare “doctored audit reports” which the Federal Government has inadvertently been relying upon in the past six years. Your Excellency, according to the reports, the CBN under Emefiele has been issuing fraudulent Financial Statements since 2015 that you were elected the President. Not only that, Your Excellency, Emefiele has also been misleading CBN Board members on the true financial position of the apex bank and its implication for the Nigerian economy. Mr President urgent and drastic action must be taken against the CBN governor so that your administration does not leave office in disgrace and shame in the next few weeks.

“Your Excellency, we are aware that the DSS reports on Emefiele also revealed that all the financial figures Nigeria, through the CBN, has been transmitting to the IMF, World Bank, DFID and other global financial organisations, have been discovered to be cooked up, misleading and unreliable. Infact, international report on Nigeria stated that some major international financial institutions have continued to express serious concerns at the crass recklessness of the CBN Governor.

“Your Excellency, it will also interest you to know that Emefiele decided to sack the leadership of some Nigerian commercial banks on the eve of the recent presidential election held on February 25, 2023, but the circular sacking the bank CEOs was signed by the CBN Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Chibuzo A. Efobi, rather than the apex bank boss himself. There is no more to this sir! This particular circular, sir, did not make any reference to any CBN Board meeting where the matter was deliberated upon before taking the decision to sack the bank chiefs. Mr President, sir, there are extant laws that deal with Corporate Governance in Nigeria to which CBN must adhere to. This has been violated by Emefiele. Mr President, sir, this CBN circular on the sacking of bank CEOs is inconsistent with the laws. Your Excellency, sir, Emefiele has been operating as if he is the president of a separate country within Nigeria. Or did you direct the CBN governor to order the bank chiefs to resign their positions?

“Mr President, for your information, these same bank CEOs are the ones keeping stolen funds for Emefiele. The reality is that the CBN governor wants them to leave so that it will look as if nothing has happened between them. Your Excellency, if these bank CEOs resign now as being ordered by Emefiele, they will run away abroad with the funds looted from the CBN treasury and it will be very difficult to get them back into the country to answer for their atrocities. Therefore, no bank MD/CEO or Chairman or Director should be allowed to resign from office now!

“Your Excellency, the security agencies have been constrained to take the appropriate steps to investigate Emefiele because of his claim to having secured a Presidential Order directing CBN officials not to honour any invitation by the DSS because of an existing court injunction barring the security agency in particular from questioning him. This claim by Emefiele has forced the security agency to stop the investigation of the apex bank boss. Your Excellency, this anomaly must be corrected now to avoid a situation where the incoming administration will heap the blame for the heist perpetrated by Emefiele and for allowing him to go scot-free on you and your government. Mr President, the credibility of your person and administration will be called to question by the time the incoming administration has access to the documents detailing the heinous financial atrocities currently being perpetrated at the CBN by Emefiele and his cohorts.”

COTER’s petition added, “Mr President, we are aware that during investigations, it was discovered that the controversial Ways and Means approval requested by the Finance Minister was not the N23.7trillion presented to the National Assembly. Your Excellency, Ways and Means figures presented by Emefiele to the National Assembly for approval late last year is fraudulent as it is incorrect. But unfortunately, the Federal Government never bothered to scrutinise the over-inflated figures. Mr President, in the past six years, Emefiele has consistently been breaking the law by exceeding his Ways and Means limits. Mr President, the question is who gave Emefiele the approval to break the law? This question is urgently begging for an answer from you, sir.

“Your Excellency, we are aware that the reports on your table have also indicated that some of the new allegations Emefiele is being investigated for by the DSS include the $3.6m COVID-19 palliative funds given to Nigeria by the IMF two years ago to cushion the effects of the pandemic.

“Mr President, sir, on the diverted $3.6m IMF COVID-19 palliatives, the world financial body wrote the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation last week to inform them that they are sending an audit and forensic team to the country to investigate how the money was spent by Your Excellency’s administration.

“Your Excellency, the concern here is the implication of the outcome of the investigation on your hard-earned integrity, sir, and the image of the country across the world!

“Your Excellency, the report on your table also discovered that CBN under Emefiele has been operating no fewer than 500 private bank accounts with public monies running to several billions stashed in them without the Federal Government being in the know.

“Your Excellency, COTER is aware of the antics of some military top brass encouraging Mr. Emefiele not to honour invitations by appropriate security agencies for questioning regarding the weighty allegations against him, which also border on economic and security sabotage of the country. These top military officers have even been protecting the CBN Governor from being arrested by assigning heavily armed soldiers to guard him and his family everywhere they go at all times. This development has even resulted in the militarisation of the atmosphere at the CBN Headquarters in Abuja, as the public building now wears the look of another military garrison. Your Excellency, these open encouragement at perpetrating illegality being provided Emefiele by these top military elements negates the anti-corruption stance of your administration and detracts so much from the recognition and accolades being given to your government in the past few years by the international community.”

Below is the full text of COTER’s petition to the President:

His Excellency,

President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria,
President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR,
Aso Presidential Villa,
Aso Drive, Abuja, FCT.

Your Excellency,

A PETITION REQUESTING YOUR EXCELLENCY TO DIRECT THE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN) GOVERNOR, MR GODWIN EMEFIELE, TO IMMEDIATELY STEP ASIDE FROM OFFICE AND SUBMIT HIMSELF FOR INVESTIGATIONS TO CLEAR HIMSELF OF WEIGHTHY ALLEGATIONS OF TERRORISM FINANCING, CORRUPTION AND ABUSE OF OFFICE.

Your Excellency, our group, Coalition for Transparency and Economic Reforms (COTER) is an umbrella body of 259 anti-corruption, civil society and human rights groups spread across the country. We are a Non-Governmental Organisation serving as watchdog for government policies and Implementation landmarks for the betterment of Nigeria and Nigerians in general.

We are a law-abiding and patriotic organisation whose major and ultimate objectives are probity, accountability and transparency in government for quality socio-economic development and reforms.

Our numerous anti-corruption activities and actions are aimed at assisting government and the Nigerian people to effectively tackle corruption and corrupt tendenies in high places and achieve probity and transparency for the ultimate benefits of all Nigeria citizens.

Your Excellency, COTER consistently strive to ensure accountability, probity and transparency in governance at all levels in Nigeria and these we have been able to achieve through various anti-corruptrion rallies, press conferences, awareness and sensitisation programmes, enlightenment and engagement of government officials at all levels as well as the Nigerian people, which we organise on a regular basis.

Mr President, COTER wants to use this opportunity to commend you on the various legacy projects your administration commissioned in recent times in Katsina, Kano, Jigawa and across other parts of the country. The evidence of the enabling environment your administration created in the various states across the country and the right policies you put in place is glaring in the large number of projects in many of the 36 states since 2015. Your Excellency, there is no gainsaying the fact that you have done so many great things for Nigeria. Your administration has also succeeded in incapacitating and in many instances, decapitating insurgencies and terrorism, thereby reducing the incidence of insecurity in different parts of Nigeria.

Your Excellency, the completion of the Second Niger Bridge, the rehabilitation of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, Bodo/Bonny road and Bridges, Loko-Oweto road and bridge, construction of new airport terminals in Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Enugu, Port Harcourt, Abuja-Zaria-Kano, and the various rail lines criss-crossing many parts of the country are just few of the lofty achievements recorded by your administration. Mr President, sir, to say the least, your administration has touched most Nigerians, including those at the grassroots, through your litany of legacy projects, lofty programmes and salutary policies. Your Excellency, sir, your administration deserves all the accolades!

However, all these lofty achievements of your administration will pale into insignificance and your legacies could even be completely erased if Your Excellency does not act fast within the few weeks left for your administration to consolidate on these achievements.

Your Excellency, recent developments in the Nigerian polity, which have elicited serious concerns in various quarters, have once again necessitated COTER’s decision not to keep quiet or act complacently. Infact, for us, keeping mum in the face of clear monumental corruption and gross abuse of office by the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, will amount to complicity. Mr President, sir, you must act speedily regarding the various security reports on the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, that have for some time now been yearning for urgent attention.

Your Excellency, sir, it is imperative that you take action on Emefiele now in order not to continue to jeopardise your laudable achievements and lofty legacies you intend to leave behind as a true leader of the country.

Your Excellency, sir, the appalling and gargantuan fraud already perpetrated by the CBN Governor for years now, particularly under your administration, should no longer be overlooked by the Federal Government.

Mr President, COTER will therefore like to use this medium to demand your immediate action against the perennial and persistent fraudulent activities of Mr Emefiele, in cahoots with some other Nigerians, in siphoning the public money in the custody of the CBN under various phoney headings, especially since 2015 when your administration came into office.

Your Excellency, the unabashed corrupt stance of the CBN Governor and his cohorts leaves very bad taste in the mouth!

Your Excellency, it is public knowledge that Emefiele began to perpetrate these monumental frauds immediately he got into office and only became more daring and unperturbed under your administration.

Mr President, it is a well-known fact that the CBN Governor has been colluding with some corrupt individuals to move huge public funds from the apex bank’s into personal accounts without the knowledge of the Federal Government.

Your Excellency, we are aware that according to the various security reports before you, Emefiele has siphoned hundreds of trillions of Naira under your watch from the CBN using various guises since 2015. Mr President, this is highly scandalous.

Your Excellency, sir, it will shock you to understand that these monumental frauds being perpetrated at the CBN are the reasons for the various harsh and anti-people monetary policies being foisted on Nigerians by Emefiele and his cohorts. Mr President, these inhuman monetary policies are kegs of gunpowder being heated and the results of which will be nothing but renewed agitations, perennial restiveness, wanton violence and needless destruction as well as the general insecurity and social maladies that your administration has been battling with since 2015.

Mr President, sir, the disgrace the CBN has brought upon the person of Your Excellency, your administration and the entire Federal Government, going by the Supreme Court’s recent pronouncement on Emefiele’s controversial new monetary policy, cannot be imagined! The reversal of the CBN policy by the apex court, after Emefiele had subjected all Nigerians to excruciating pains and sufferings, has no doubt detracted so much from the laudable achievements already recorded by your administration in the past seven years.

Your Excellency, that your administration has exercised serious caution and restraints regarding taking action over the monumental damning allegations of corruption against the CBN Governor is confounding! But now that the elections are over and your administration is less encumbered, COTER humbly requests Your Excellency to immediately look into the various security reports on Emefiele and act on them to save your hard-earned reputation as an incorruptible leader popular for waging consistent war against corruption and graft.

Your Excellency, you are already aware of some of the damning allegations of terrorism financing and corruption that the Department of State Services (DSS) has been investigating Emefiele for. These allegations, which are already in public domain, are also contained in the reports the security agencies have already submitted to your office and also contained in court records.

According to these report, Your Excellency, preliminary investigations have revealed Emefiele’s involvement in various acts of terrorism financing, fraudulent activities and economic crimes of national security dimension.

But it will interest Your Excellency to learn that the CBN Governor has continued to employ all means to escape arrest and interrogation by the DSS. For example, Mr. Emefiele recently delayed his return to Nigeria after a trip abroad. He also engaged some highly placed persons in the Presidential Villa to help him to prevail on the DSS to let him off the hook. The CBN governor has also been employing propaganda through sponsored organised public protests and demonstrations by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), all in a bid to stop his investigations and prosecution by the DSS.

Mr President, some of your close confidants and associates are alleged to be the arrowheads of the highly influential and powerful politicians pressuring the DSS DG, Yusuf Bichi to let go of Emefiele, resulting in the inability of the secret police to interrogate the apex bank boss on the allegations leveled against him.

Your Excellency, unknown to the CBN Governor, while he was out of the country recently, we are aware that the DSS interrogated and obtained documentary evidence against him (Emefiele) from some CBN directors and commercial banks’ Managing Directors/CEOs. It was in the course of these widened investigations that the DSS unearthed 12 fresh allegations against the CBN Governor; which are also obtainable in the public domain.

Mr President, sir, it is contained in the reports already on your table that during interrogation, CBN external auditors, who have been working for the apex bank in the past six years, “gave evidence under caution” and provided documents to back their claim that Emefiele paid them to prepare “doctored audit reports” which the Federal Government has inadvertently been relying upon in the past six years. Your Excellency, according to the reports, the CBN under Emefiele has been issuing fraudulent Financial Statements since 2015 that you were elected the President. Not only that, Your Excellency, Emefiele has also been misleading CBN Board members on the true financial position of the apex bank and its implication for the Nigerian economy. Mr President urgent and drastic action must be taken against the CBN governor so that your administration does not leave office in disgrace and shame in the next few weeks.

Your Excellency, we are aware that the DSS reports on Emefiele also revealed that all the financial figures Nigeria, through the CBN, has been transmitting to the IMF, World Bank, DFID and other global financial organisations, have been discovered to be cooked up, misleading and unreliable. Infact, international report on Nigeria stated that some major international financial institutions have continued to express serious concerns at the crass recklessness of the CBN Governor.

Your Excellency, it will also interest you to know that Emefiele decided to sack the leadership of some Nigerian commercial banks on the eve of the recent presidential election held on February 25, 2023, but the circular sacking the bank CEOs was signed by the CBN Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Chibuzo A. Efobi, rather than the apex bank boss himself. There is no more to this sir! This particular circular, sir, did not make any reference to any CBN Board meeting where the matter was deliberated upon before taking the decision to sack the bank chiefs. Mr President, sir, there are extant laws that deal with Corporate Governance in Nigeria to which CBN must adhere to. This has been violated by Emefiele. Mr President, sir, this CBN circular on the sacking of bank CEOs is inconsistent with the laws. Your Excellency, sir, Emefiele has been operating as if he is the president of a separate country within Nigeria. Or did you direct the CBN governor to order the bank chiefs to resign their positions?

Mr President, for your information, these same bank CEOs are the ones keeping stolen funds for Emefiele. The reality is that the CBN governor wants them to leave so that it will look as if nothing has happened between them. Your Excellency, if these bank CEOs resign now as being ordered by Emefiele, they will run away abroad with the funds looted from the CBN treasury and it will be very difficult to get them back into the country to answer for their atrocities. Therefore, no bank MD/CEO or Chairman or Director should be allowed to resign from office now!

Your Excellency, the security agencies have been constrained to take the appropriate steps to investigate Emefiele because of his claim to having secured a Presidential Order directing CBN officials not to honour any invitation by the DSS because of an existing court injunction barring the security agency in particular from questioning him. This claim by Emefiele has forced the security agency to stop the investigation of the apex bank boss. Your Excellency, this anomaly must be corrected now to avoid a situation where the incoming administration will heap the blame for the heist perpetrated by Emefiele and for allowing him to go scot-free on you and your government. Mr President, the credibility of your person and administration will be called to question by the time the incoming administration has access to the documents detailing the heinous financial atrocities currently being perpetrated at the CBN by Emefiele and his cohorts.

Mr President, we are aware that during investigations, it was discovered that the controversial Ways and Means approval requested by the Finance Minister was not the N23.7trillion presented to the National Assembly. Your Excellency, Ways and Means figures presented by Emefiele to the National Assembly for approval late last year is fraudulent as it is incorrect. But unfortunately, the Federal Government never bothered to scrutinise the over-inflated figures. Mr President, in the past six years, Emefiele has consistently been breaking the law by exceeding his Ways and Means limits. Mr President, the question is who gave Emefiele the approval to break the law? This question is urgently begging for an answer from you, sir.

Your Excellency, we are aware that the reports on your table have also indicated that some of the new allegations Emefiele is being investigated for by the DSS include the $3.6m COVID-19 palliative funds given to Nigeria by the IMF two years ago to cushion the effects of the pandemic.

Mr President, sir, on the diverted $3.6m IMF COVID-19 palliatives, the world financial body wrote the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation last week to inform them that they are sending an audit and forensic team to the country to investigate how the money was spent by Your Excellency’s administration.

Your Excellency, the concern here is the implication of the outcome of the investigation on your hard-earned integrity, sir, and the image of the country across the world!

Your Excellency, the report on your table also discovered that CBN under Emefiele has been operating no fewer than 500 private bank accounts with public monies running to several billions stashed in them without the Federal Government being in the know.

Your Excellency, COTER is aware of the antics of some military top brass encouraging Mr. Emefiele not to honour invitations by appropriate security agencies for questioning regarding the weighty allegations against him, which also border on economic and security sabotage of the country. These top military officers have even been protecting the CBN Governor from being arrested by assigning heavily armed soldiers to guard him and his family everywhere they go at all times. This development has even resulted in the militarisation of the atmosphere at the CBN Headquarters in Abuja, as the public building now wears the look of another military garrison. Your Excellency, these open encouragement at perpetrating illegality being provided Emefiele by these top military elements negates the anti-corruption stance of your administration and detracts so much from the recognition and accolades being given to your government in the past few years by the international community.

Your Excellency, we are aware that on Emefiele’s return to Nigeria recently, he directed all the DSS operatives detailed to provide security for him to withdraw and “return to base.” Mr President, sir, Emefiele’s disengagement of the DSS operatives followed the deployment of heavily armed soldiers and military intelligence operatives allegedly by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor to take over the security of the apex bank Governor and his family members. Sir, Irabor got close to N1bn largesse from the CBN Governor for securing him with military police and intelligence personnel from the Defence Headquarters, to prevent his arrest by the DSS. The armed troops are still providing the CBN Governor and his family security.

Mr President, sir, Emefiele, through a Civil Society Organisation, Forum for Accountability and Good Leadership, also obtained a fresh court injunction from a Federal Capital Territory High Court barring the DSS from questioning officials of the CBN and chief executives of 27 commercial banks on Foreign Exchange Allocations from 2017 to date.

Your Excellency, the damning allegations against the CBN governor are legion! Above are just the few we are constrained by space to mention here.

OUR DEMANDS:

Mr President, sir, it is our belief that your government, globally known for its anti-corruption stance, should have directed Emefiele to first clear his name before security agencies when he returned from his trip abroad before continuing in office as CBN Governor.

Your Excellency, in a great country such as ours, Emefiele ought not to still be in office as CBN governor, given the various damning and weighty allegations levelled against him by security agencies, and which are also already in public domain, without first making himself physically available to the security agencies to clear his name.

But since this has not happened, Your Excellency, COTER humbly make the following demands:

  1. Your Excellency should immediately direct the CBN governor to immediately step aside from office as the apex bank’s boss for proper investigation of the CBN.
  2. Emefiele should be ordered to make himself available for investigations to clear his name. It is imperative Emefiele proves his innocence before the investigative bodies. Mr. President, this is imperative if you want to maintain your hard-earned reputation, sir. Mr. President, directing Emefiele to so do has become imperative because Nigerians, who believe in the anti-corruption stance of your administration, are keenly waching and wondering whether the indicted CBN governor will be accorded the sacred cow privilege and allowed to go scot-free under the watch of Your Excellency. Infact, the CBN governor should be ordered and compelled to immediately submit his office and person for necessary probe.
  3. The various security reports on the CBN Governor should be made public and published for all to see.
  4. Your Excellency must order the recovery of the monies stolen by Emefiele under your administration since 2015. COTER believes that your administration should not hand over a corruption-infested CBN to the incoming administration.
  5. COTER also calls on the Federal Government to immediately order the conduct of comprehensive investigations of the entire CBN operations under Emefiele.
  6. Your Excellency, Ways and Means request figures presented by Emefiele and the Minister of Finance to the National Assembly for approval over the years should be immediately further investigated. The figures have been found to not only be fraudulent but also incorrect. It’s time to scrutinise the over-inflated figures.
  7. COTER also requests that travel ban be placed by the Federal Government on Emefiele and other indicted persons as the CBN governor along with his other accomplices, according to security reports, is now making frantic efforts to escape from the country in this month of March.
  8. Mr President, sir, the Coalition is also calling for the setting up of a special consolidated account by the government for the safekeeping of funds recovered from Emefiele and others.
  9. COTER will further advise Your Excellency that the Federal Government should offset all debts owed and loans from the huge funds to be recovered from Emefiele and his cohorts before your administration leaves office so that the incoming administration will start on a clean slate. We don’t want the incoming administration to inherit debts. Nigerians will no longer tolerate complaints about Government’s inability to perform due to huge debt owed by a previous administration.
  10. Above all, COTER demands the immediate arrest and prosecution of Emefiele and all others involved in all these monumental economic sabotage and heinous financial crimes against the Nigerian state.
  11. Your Excellency, the varous security agencies should, therefore, be given the clearance and authorisation to perform their constitutional duty of investigating, arresting and questioning all those suspected of committing financial and economic crimes against the Nigerian state, no matter how highly placed they may be.
  12. Your Excellency, the purported Presidential Order directing CBN officials not to honour any invitation by the DSS because of an existing court injunction should be immediately withdrawn. This is conferring undue immunity on Emefiele and other CBN officials against being investigated, questioned and prosecuted by the appropriate security agecies. Your Excellency, the fact is that Emefiele has continued to hide under this Presidential Order to perpetrate humonguous frauds at the CBN. He must be stopped now to save the reputation of your administration and preserve your anti-corruption legacy for the future generations of Nigerians.

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