In a swift response to the widespread speculation surrounding the status of Godwin Emefiele, the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Department of State Services (DSS) clarified that he is not currently in their custody. Reports had emerged suggesting that Emefiele had been apprehended by DSS operatives following his suspension.
The DSS took to Twitter on Saturday morning to address the circulating rumors, stating in a concise tweet, “Currently, Emefiele is not with the DSS.” However, the agency did not elaborate on whether he had been previously detained, leaving room for speculation.
Emefiele’s suspension was announced on Friday by the office of the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF).
The director of information in the SGF office, Willie Bassey, stated that Emefiele was required to transfer his responsibilities to the deputy governor of the operations directorate, Folashodun Adebisi Shonubi. Shonubi will act as the interim CBN governor until the conclusion of the investigation into Emefiele’s office.
The investigation in question pertains to allegations of terrorism financing, which have been lingering since late 2022. The DSS has been conducting an inquiry into these allegations, leading them to approach a federal high court in Abuja to seek a warrant for Emefiele’s arrest. However, the court rejected the application, citing the lack of substantial evidence provided by the DSS to support their claims.
A subsequent order was issued by a federal capital territory (FCT) high court in Maitama, which restrained the security agency from arresting Emefiele. This order came as a temporary relief for the embattled CBN governor.
As the investigation into the allegations of terrorism financing continues, the Nigerian public remains eager to ascertain the outcome of the DSS probe. The suspension of a high-ranking official like Emefiele, coupled with the serious nature of the allegations, has garnered significant attention both within and outside the financial sector.
It is worth noting that while the DSS has confirmed that Emefiele is not currently in their custody, the situation surrounding his previous detainment, if any, remains undisclosed. The public will be closely watching for further updates on this development, as the outcome of the investigation could have far-reaching implications for the country’s financial landscape.