President Muhammadu Buhari should put his house in order, andSave Nigeria from repeated, unwarranted national embarrassments over Emiefele Terrorism allegation, the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum has charged.This was contained in a statement that was jointly signed by Leader, South South/PANDEF, Chief Dr. Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, , Afenifere Leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, President, Middle Belt Forum Dr. Pogu Bitrus and Secretary-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Worldwide Ambassador Okey Emuchay.The statement pointed out that the admonition became expedient and instructive following the reported recent, disgraceful, attempt by the Department of State Services (DSS) to surreptitiously obtain an ex-parte order from the Federal High Court, Abuja, to arrest and detain the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele.
“The action of the Department of State Services is not only a travesty of the nation’s judiciary, but also a grave disservice to the Nigerian state, and a mortification of the nation’s image.
“It is unthinkable that the DSS would recklessly and carelessly 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 shameful but a disgrace to the Buhari administration and the Nation. And capable of unsettling the socioeconomic tractions of the country.”
The statement asked rhetorically
“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?
“It is common knowledge that the Governor the Central Bank, has been carrying out Mr. President’s directives and instructions religiously.
“We wonder whether it is those instructions given to him by the President, which he carried out that make him to be a terrorism sponsor? Or there are personal actions and activities he has carried out without the president’s approval and instruction?
“The CBN Governor has been doing everything to salvage the nation’s economy with several intervention schemes in agriculture and SMEs, etc, to ensure that individuals, households and businesses across all sectors of the economy receive support to sustain their operations and livelihoods, especially during COVID and even in post-COVID era.
“It was thwarting that the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, practically “apple-polished” certain sections of the country with the apex bank’s intervention schemes to boost production of farm commodities, providing smallholder farmers with inputs, in kind and cash, particularly in the Northern States that supposedly have comparative advantage to produce rice, maize, wheat, cotton, tomato, roots and tubers like cassava, potatoes, yam, etc.
“The CBN interventions have reportedly led to huge drop in rice importation, in recent years; which has been publicized widely as one of the key achievements of the Buhari administration. “Sadly, the same Godwin Emefiele is now being labeled terrorism sponsor. What a shame!
“It is bemusing that Mr. Yusuf Bichi (the Director General of the Department of State Services), and his backers, presumed all citizens have been “conquered”.
“Allegedly acting on a petition, the DSS filed a secret suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja, on 7 December, under Section 66 of the Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Act, 2022 to request a court order for Mr. Emefiele’s arrest and detention for 60 days, in the first instance.
“But, the respected judge, Justice John Tsoho, who is the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in his ruling on 9th December 2022, rejected the application on the grounds that the DSS failed to provide sufficient evidence to warrant the issuance of an arrest warrant against Mr. Emefiele.
“SMBLF applauds the courage and bravery of the judge; it is gratifying to know that there are still men and women of character and integrity, who can firmly defend and uphold justice, without fear or favour.
“By this singular act, Justice John Tsoho has written his name in gold, and shall remain indelible in the hearts and minds of all patriotic Nigerians and people of goodwill across the world.
“The judge in his ruling also inferred that there was no seeming indication that the President approved the action of the DSS.
“Now, if indeed, President5 Muhammadu Buhari was not aware of the plot, then, it would be inexcusable to allow Mr. Yusuf Magaji Bichi remain a moment longer in office as Director-General of the Department State Services.”
The forum therefore demanded that the DSS boss be relieved of his position, without any delay, for being disloyal and discourteous to the President and the nation. “Mr. Yusuf Magaji Bichi should also be made to render an unreserved public apology to the nation and to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele.
“We are not in the least surprised at the way and manner Mr. Yusuf Bichi has been running the DSS since he assumed that office; his appointment as Director General of the DSS itself, in the first place, leaves much to be desired.
“The group called for a thorough investigation of the incident, even a Public Inquiry, to unveil the officials, and, others behind the disgraceful and subversive plot, with appropriate sanctions duly meted out.
“This is a very sensitive matter, and Government must give it the serious attention, it deserves.
This 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 governance ofvthe Country.
“SMBLF, therefore, further urges Mr. President to put his “house” in order, and save the Country from recurring catastrophic haemorrhage.
“SMBLF recalls that it was in comparable manners that the former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, and several other top public office holders from the smSouthern and Middle Belt Regions of the Country, have been scandalously removed from office.
“It is imperative to underscore the fact that SMBLF, as a responsible organization, comprising prominent statesmen, who have served, and still serving, and contributing immensely to the betterment of our dear Country, Nigeria, will not stand idly by, where any venal act, at any level, against any citizen, or section. “SMBLFA maintains that it is unfair that people would be so casually harassed, brutalised and brazenly persecuted, merely because of their ethnicity, or religion, or for serving their Fatherland diligently, meritoriously.”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.