Why Emefiele May Be Jailed

By Lateef Adegbite

 Between June, 2014 and June 2023, Godwin Emefiele, immediate past governor of   the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, had operated the apex bank as his own exclusive empire. He may have been in the good books of   former Presidents Goodluck Jonathan Muhammadu Buhari, who were said to have tolerated his excesses because he could do their bidding.

He may have found President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who incidentally was a former governor of Lagos state a hard nut to crack that he had played into his hand.  Emefiele, may have known that his problem has started when he was suspended from office after about nine years as the governor of the CBN, during the administrations of the duo, Jonathan and Buhari.

Yusuf Magaji Bichi: DG, DSS

 The Delta state born former governor of CBN who, was removed from office last June by the incumbent Nigerian President was detained by the Department of State Service, DSS, under the close watch of Yusuf Bichi and charged to Court over alleged procurement fraud and other weighty allegations.

 Aware of the gravity of his offence during his tenure in office as the CBN governor, which   might land him in jail may have informed why he has made a commitment of N50 billion believed to have been illicitly acquired to secure his freedom.

Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, was said to have endorsed the non- prosecution plea bargain but fillers from the ministry shows that the final approval still has to be given by the Lagos state born Nigerian President which the President may not likely give , meaning that Emefiele may be  jailed by the Tinubu’s administration.

An aggrieved President Tinubu had described CBN under the leadership of Emefiele as ‘’a den of malfeasance’’ during the October 1st, nationwide broadcast to mark Nigeria’s 63 Independence anniversary. He had said that ‘’the housecleaning of the apex bank is well underway to avoid a similar reoccurrence in the future’’.

The Nigerian President had said that much at an interactive session with Nigerians residing in France last June when he described the county’s financial system under Emefiele as ‘’rotten’’, noting that the few people who were connected with him were made money bags ‘’.

He may have gladdened the heart of Nigerians resident in France who had sought to know the steps so far taken by the administration to address the mess in the CBN. The Nigerian President may have been put under pressure to say something when he said ‘’the man is in the hands of the hands of the secret police and helping them in their investigations’’.

 He may have shocked the Nigerians resident n France when he disclosed that Emefiele ought to have been arrested before now but the administrations of erstwhile President Buhari had protected him. ‘’Emefiele has many questions to answer’’., Tinubu had said.

  He may have given the former CBN, helmsman, a cause to worry when he volunteered information that the special investigator, Jim Obazee, who incidentally is the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of the Financial reporting Council of Nigeria,  Committee  has been  set up  to  look into the books and records of the expenses of the bank and key business entities, stressing that Committee will soon  present its findings  on past lapses  of the bank and how to prevent similar re-occurrence in the future .

Many believe that the submission of the special investigator’s report on the CBN, will determine whether the government will accept the N50billion plea bargain of Emefiele or allow the DSS Court process to continue which might him in jail because of the damning allegations against him.

Many knew that Emefiele had played into the hands of President Tinubu when he made it to those that cares to listen that on assumption of office on May 29, 2023, that he won’t give him room to either travel out of the country on medical ground for treatment or sneak out of the country as ‘’the government is looking is looking for him’’.  True to his words, he was arrested by the DSS operatives in PortHarcourt and flown back to Lagos, the nation’s Commercial nerve centre.  

Until the former CBN governor opted to enter into ‘’the N50 billion plea bargain’’ to secure his freedom, the DSS investigators were said to have traced N72 billion to a series of accounts associated with the banker intended to be used for his Presidential Campaign for the FEBRUARY 25, 2023, general elections on the platform of the  All Progressive Congress, APC.  

Another $70 million hidden with a couple believed to be skilled in facilitating round-tripping activities was said to have also been discovered by the secret police and traced to Emefiele, the former CBN governor, which is very damning.

The secret police investigators were said to have equally traced the ownership of Polaris bank and several other banks where he had substantial shares. He was said to have cronies to establish the Polaries bank and buy shares of other banks believed to be doing well in the nation’s banking industry.

.  The secret police investigators may have been thorough in their investigations of the withdrawal of the operating license of Skye bank by the apex bank and its subsequent takeover by the ban. Emefiele may have made its interest in the bank much pronounced when he disclosed that the CBN in Consultation with the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, have decided to establish a bridge bank, Polaries, to assume the assets and liabilities of the Skye bank.

The former CBN governor, had said that that strategy of setting up the bridge bank is for the Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON, to capitalize on the bank and begin the process of sourcing for  investors  to buy out AMCON. The CBN, under Emefiele Leadership had said that in revoking Skye bank operating License was not be because it was insolvent.

 aThe CBN,was emphatic  that ’’the bank was not in distress and remains a healthy bank in the Nigerian banking system’.T It noted that the only reason why  the apex bank had identified in takin g over the Money Deposit bank, MDB, had to do with ‘’Corporate governance challenges and which needed to be resolved for effective service delivery’’.

AMCON had confirmed that the Emefiele led CBN, had issued operating License to Polaris, the bridge bank floated to takeover Skye bank and which was said to have commenced banking business on September 1st, 2018. For a bank that was said to be financially healthy, the question on the lips of many was why did the CBN under Emefiele Leadership sought the Presidential approval to sell it if no for his pecuniary interest.

The Capitalisation of Polaris bank, was said to have been done by AMCON, through the injection of N86 billion allegedly provided by the CBN,’’ to return the bank to soundness and profitability to enable its subsequent  sale  to credible  and financially third party acquirers possible.

The NIC, was said to have also   made payment of   N16.18 billion liquidation dividends to depositors and other stakeholders  of the 20 banks on the CBN Liquidation list that was said to have been approved by the then Katsina  state born Nigerian President.   

Cardaso: CBN Governor

Recall that Emefiele , who had been accused by Gdswill Akpabio, a former governor of Akwa Ibom state  and now President of the Nigerian 10th  Senate, while screening  Olayemi Michael Cardaso, a one-time Commissioner for Economic Planning  and Budget in Lagos state and  Head of Citibank in Nigeria, as the new CBN governor and the four other shortlisted and approved  deputy governors of the apex bank   submitted by the President to the hallowed Chamber  for confirmation  had alluded to the fact that the immediate past CBN Leadership had  ran a parallel government different from the Federal Republic of  Nigeria.  He had sought to know from Cardaso and his Team that they will not run another parallel government like their predecessors but the response was No.      

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