Godwin Emefiele, the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, who is currently in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) has identified some traditional rulers, Nigerian Army generals and judges as his accomplices, SaharaReporters learnt from DSS sources.
Emefiele, who is said to be “cooperating with investigators” reportedly narrated how he gave money to monarchs, army generals and judges at some point or the other during his time in office.
The suspended CBN governor has been in detention along with Abdulrasheed Bawa, the suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after both of them were suspended from their respective offices by President Bola Tinubu’s administration over corruption allegations and abuse of office.
SaharaReporters on June 15 reported how Emefiele named Bawa as an accomplice in the Naira redesign scam that rocked the country some months ago.
SaharaReporters had learnt that Emefiele and Bawa – both undergoing interrogation – were being quizzed on sundry issues including the Naira redesign scam.
Giving SaharaReporters update on Wednesday, DSS sources claimed that Emefiele was “revealing a lot” and had named some top accomplices in his mismanagement of the country’s apex bank.
“As per Emefiele, he is cooperating with investigators and revealing a lot. Emefiele corrupted and bribed almost every major traditional ruler, army generals, some judges and clerics,” one of the sources revealed.
“Almost all the CBN directors are also being quizzed and they too are cooperating,” he added.
SaharaReporters had earlier reported that Emefiele was suspended “sequel to the ongoing investigation into his office and the planned reforms in the financial sector of the economy,” according to a release by Willie Bassey, the Director of Information for the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume.
On November 23, 2022, then-President Muhammadu Buhari alongside Emefiele unveiled new naira notes in denominations of N200, N500 and N1,000. Emefiele insisted that the old notes would cease to be legal tender from January 31, 2023.
Addressing journalists after the event, Emefiele insisted that the move was not targeted at anyone as there were speculations that the move was pushed by the cabal in the Presidency and targeted at preventing Bola Tinubu, then-presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress from winning the February 25, 2023 election.
The policy caused Nigerians untold hardship due to the scarcity of naira notes with the CBN unable to meet the demand for new notes. The policy led to a cash crisis and long queues at banks and ATMs.
“Emefiele who is currently cooling his feet in the cell of the DSS is the reason why the EFCC chairman has been detained overnight. Emefiele who is cooperating with the DSS claimed that Bawa was the one who raised a memo to former President Muhammadu Buhari, asking that the Naira should be redesigned to stem money laundering during the 2023 election,” a top source had revealed to SaharaReporters.
“Bawa confronted him that he (Emefiele) and the former Attorney-General of the Federation, Malami were the ones that came to him to raise the memo because they suspected Tinubu had warehouses stuffed with naira notes,” the source had added.
In February and March, Nigerians were subjected to extreme difficulty with the Naira redesign and cashless policy due to the scarcity of the new Naira notes.
To make matters worse, Emefiele had refused to heed a Supreme Court ruling which made the old notes legal tender till December 31, before former President Buhari distanced himself from the disobedience to the court order.
SaharaReporters in February reported how the DSS attempted to arrest Emefiele, but the then Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, shielded him by providing soldiers to guard his residence and office.
The DSS had said it intensified its investigations to arrest and prosecute Emefiele, on allegations of terrorism financing and fraud.
SaharaReporters also in February reported that new court documents obtained from the DSS indicted Emefiele for funding “unknown gunmen” terrorising the Southeast region of the country.