Why Tinubu Cannot Probe Buhari , Making Emefiele The  Scapegoat

By Suleiman Umaru And Lateef Adegbite

Those who thinks that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who incidentally was a former governor of Lagos state will probe the eight year-old Administration of Muhammadu Buhari would be disappointed. This is because the Nigerian President do not want to expose the inadequacies of the Administration and play into the opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, that may use that as an opportunity  to rubbish the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC. It was not surprising why the former Lagos state has decided to manage financial crisis met on ground on May 29, 2023 by to chart a new course for the government.    

There is no saying the fact that there is nothing the former Lagos state governor is doing, particular, the arrest, detention and trial of Godwin Emiefele, the immediate pat governor of the Central Bank, CBN, who turned out to be the most trusted ally of the former Katsina state born Nigerian President that he took things for granted, by taking most decisions without Presidential approval.

The Nigerian President may have shocked Nigerians as he had thanked Jim Obazee, a former Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, FRCN, appointed as the Special Investigator of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and other related entities, on July 28, 2023 who never indicted Buhari, the former President in his report but Emefiele.

Tinubu, who had commended   Obazee, the CBN and other related entities, Special Investigator which was very revealing was said to have commended  the former CEO, of FRCN, ‘’for the dedication  and professionalism  he had exercised  in handling  the complexities  of the  critical national assignment’’, which many believe was very revealing.

Obazee and his team, who were said to have submitted the comprehensive report of their findings to the President on Easter Sunday, March 31, 2024,   for implementation. The Special Investigator was aid to have  uncovered instances   where billions of naira  wee purportedly stolen from the CBN, accounts , including a  fraudulent cash withdrawal of $6.23 million  , equivalent to N2.9 billion  at the  then official exchange rate of N461.00 to the US dollar.

  The atrocities that was said to have been  committed by Emefiele  while still in office was so worrisome that the EFCC, had declared   his Margret Emefifiele, his wife , Eric Odoh , Anita Omoile and Jonathan Omoile  wanted   for allegedly conspiring  with the erstwhile  CBN  governor ‘’to convert huge sums of money  belong to the government  and committed  felony  to obtaining  money by false  pretenses  and stealing . The trio of Margret, Anita and Jonathan were listed as indigenes of Delta, Emefiefiele, the former C apex Bank governor, home state   while Odoh  is said to be from Benue, home state of George Akume, Present Secretary to the Government of  the Federation.  

Obazee, concludes CBN , probe, submits reports to President Tinubu

At the presentation of the Obazee’s report, on Easter Sunday, March 1, 202, Tinubu, who could not hide his feelings had declared that ‘’the investigation is formally closed’’, and directing all relevant enforcement and regulatory agencies already conducting a -up action to expedite action to bring the culprits to book.

Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, may have alluded to the Kayode Egbetokun, led Nigerian Police Force, Department of State Service, DSS, under the close watch of   Yusuf Magaji Bichi and Ola Olukoyede led Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, as the relevant enforcement and regulator yagencies which are doing a follow-up to the Obazee’s report.

The introduction of a fresh 26-count charges bordering on abuse of office and corruption against Emefiele, the Delta state born immediate past governor of the CBN speaks volume. The Special Investigator may have given the law enforcement and regulatory agencies room to further probe  the former CBN governor currently on trial  for allocating the country’s foreign exchange  in the aggregate  sum of  the North American country of the United states , US, 2,136,391,37.33, without bids , which the EFCC  had described as ‘’prejudicial to the rights of Nigerians’’.   

Emefiele: Immediate past governor of CBN

Recall that  Ngelale, the Presidential spokesperson, based on information available to him from the CBN, had accused   Emefiele of depleting  the country’s foreign  reserve as he took most financial decisions  without the approval  of Buhari, the then Nigerian President. He was emphatic that expenses from the   nation’s foreign reserve, reaching billions of US dollars, were not   approved by the former President for him, meaning that he was running a parallel government.  He noted that Buhari, may have allowed the former CBN, governor, who was in charge of the apex Bank‘s operations and also served as the Chairman of  the Bank’s Board of Directors to hang himelf by giving the free hand to operate.

The Presidential Media Aide  may have also been guided in his statement  by snippets from the Obazee’s findings while looking at the books of the CBN, that was done  by the former governor was  largely   without the approval and knowledge  governor  concerning  the expenditure  of billions  of dollars  from the foreign reserves without the approval and knowledge of Buhari.  He may have had at the back of his mind that he will continue the say under the Tinubu’s Administration but got it wrong.

Unknown to him the former Lagos state governor had a dossier on him and was waiting for an opportunity to apply the sledge hammer on him. The opportunity came on July, 2023, barely two months in office, as he was suspended from office sequel to the ongoing investigation of his office and planned reforms in the nation’s financial sector.   A security source disclosed that the former CBN governor would have been arrested by DSS operatives   during the Administration of President Buhari because of the many questions to answer but was put on hold till after the February 25, 2023, Presidential election.  The first move by the DSS operatives to arrest him was in January 2023 over allegations of terrorism financing and economic crime but that was how far the agency could go.

On June 9, 2023, barely two weeks in office as President and Commander –In-Chief of the Nigerian, armed forces,  Tinubu suspended  Emefiele from office over allegations  of financing terrorism, fraudulent activities  and economic crimes of  national security dimension. During his tenure, the naira was said to have experienced a significant decline at AEM and the Investors and Exports, I&E, window.

As a prelude  to concluding the trial of the former CBN governor without further delay, Rotimi Oyedepo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, and EFCC Lawyer  may have spoken the mind of Olukoyede, the EFCC, Executive Chairman   when he reportedly said that  the embattled  apex Bank governor   will be arraigned  before Justice  Rahman  Oshodi  of the Lagos High Court , Ikeja,  on Monday, April 8, 2024. Channels Television had reported that the anti-graft agency had filed the case on the High Court on

Olukoyede: Executive Chairman, EFCC

The situation appears to have been different in the recent time as the naira has been appreciating against the US dollar at the official and parallel foreign exchange market in the recent time. The naira appreciation in both AFEM and Parallel  foreign  exchange market had been attributed by Financial  analysts   to the several  foreign exchange policies  currently being implemented  by the CBN, to boost the country’s US  dollar supply  and enhance  transparency  in the FX market.  

Appearing on Arise Television recently,  Muda Yusuf,  CEO, of the Centre  for the Promotion  of Private Enterprise,  , had linked the increase  in raw material imports by Manufacturers   to the appreciation of the naira  due  to the CBN, interventionist policies.  

 The Independent  Media and Policy  Initiative, IMPI,  had said that the naira had bounced back  against  other world major currencies because  of the cocktail o positive  policies  that had  been produced  by the CBN, in addressing he supply  and demand sides  of the country’s foreign exchange market.

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