Strong indications emerged weekend on why the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele was suspended by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
In a shocking development, the Federal Government of Nigeria Friday suspended Emefiele and ordered his probe.
According to Politics Nigeria, his suspension is tied to a $1 billion scandal that was uncovered just before the Presidential inauguration on May 29.
The newspaper claimed that it learned the suspicion arose after the CBN borrowed $1 billion from Afrexim Bank on April 24, 2023, after the elections, during preparations for the inauguration.
It further claimed that within two days of receiving the money, $750 million was swiftly transferred to Aliko Dangote’s Dubai accounts using a ‘Form A’.
It is also alleged that then President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was kept in the dark about the transaction.
The newspaper revealed further that sources within the CBN claim that Emefiele sold dollars to Dangote at an unbelievably low rate of N445 to the dollar.
“1 billion dollars was received from Afrexim Bank into the CBN’s JP Morgan account on April 24, 2023, out of which $750 million was immediately transferred to Dangote’s Bluestar Dubai account within two days using the “Form A” transaction method, bypassing the requirement of a Letter of Credit.
Bluestar is said to have had ties with Dangote since 2007”, it was gathered.
While some CBN officials raised concerns about these transactions, the revelation highlights the potential for money laundering and illicit activities within Nigeria’s financial system, tarnishing the CBN’s integrity under Emefiele’s leadership.
Recognizing the gravity of the situation, the President took decisive action by suspending Emefiele and ordering a thorough investigation.
Sources revealed that Emefiele was arrested in Lagos by the Department of State Services (DSS) on June 9 and flown to Abuja for questioning which the security agency has now confirmed.
His ordeal not a surprise, says Muda Yusuf.
Dr Muda Yusuf, Chief Executive Officer, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), says the suspension of Mr Godwin Emefiele as the CBN Governor is not a surprise.
Yusuf in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos, said the suspension showed that “President Bola Tinubu’s administration is at variance with the policy disposition of the CBN under Emefiele.
The monetary and foreign exchange policy thrusts of President Tinubu’s administration is at variance with the policy disposition of the CBN under Emefiele.
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“President Tinubu was very clear in his inaugural speech about his resentment of some current CBN policies such as the multiple exchange rate and the Naira redesign policy.
“The president also hinted at a house cleaning plan for the CBN. It is impractical to reform the apex bank and review some of its major policies with Mr. Emefiele remaining on the seat as governor.”
According to Yusuf, it is therefore logical that the CBN governor be advised to proceed with suspension.
“The truth is that there is a major compatibility issue. The parting of ways was inevitable.”
He said that the brazen involvement of the CBN governor in partisan politics was an aberration and most unbecoming.
According to him, it was damaging to the credibility of the CBN and the reputation of the governor himself.
NAN reports that Tinubu suspended Emefiele from office with immediate effect on Friday.
This was contained in a statement by Willie Bassey, Director, Information, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
According to Bassey, the suspension is sequel to the ongoing investigation of Emefiele’s office and the planned reforms in the financial sector of the economy.
He said that Emefiele had been directed to immediately hand over the affairs of his office to the Deputy Governor (Operations Directorate), Mr. Folashodun Shonubi, Shonubi will act as the CBN Governor, pending the conclusion of the investigation and the reforms.