Nothing may be heard about the investigation against the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele again if the blackmail he tried to use on top officials of the secret police works, multiple sources have told SaharaReporters.
The CBN governor was recently at the centre of wide-ranging corruption allegations, including the stamp duties scandal, and bribery of National Assembly members with N1 billion to pass the bank’s 2023 budget of N2.4 trillion, among others.
In 2022, he travelled out of the country amidst fears he would be apprehended by operatives of the secret police, Department of State Services (DSS) over several allegations against him, including terrorism financing.
SaharaReporters reported how the Federal High Court in Abuja refused to issue an order sought by the DSS to arrest Emefiele.
Some top directors of the apex bank were also grilled by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) over their roles in the N2 billion loan given to the National President of the National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN), Anibe Achimugu.
EFCC officials had told SaharaReporters that the CBN directors denied knowing when Emefiele approved the loan for Achimugu, adding that it wasn’t discussed during any of their meetings.
They also tagged the approval of such a loan as illegal.
“The President of National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) and managing director of Arewa Cotton, Mr Anibe Achimugu was given N2 billion by Emefiele,” one of the sources had said.
“Our (EFCC) investigators invited top CBN directors to explain how an individual could get such a personal loan from the apex bank, they were interrogated for hours and they denied knowing when Emefiele approved such a loan. They said they were not aware he gave out such an amount to Achimugu.
“We discovered that the whole association, NACOTAN, was earlier given N24 billion intervention funds approved by Buhari to grow and harvest cotton. But only N10 billion was recovered as the group claimed bandits didn’t allow them to harvest their cotton.
“Yet, Emefiele through the back door approved N2 billion for the President of this same association. The investigation also showed that Emefiele collected back part of the N24 billion initially given to the association as kickbacks. This is the reason why he doesn’t care about it being paid back or not.
Amidst the threat of his arrest, Emefiele returned to Nigeria and has visited President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa at least three times.
A source told SaharaReporters on Wednesday that the apex bank boss had been giving senior officials of the DSS sleepless nights “because he is ready to fight dirty”.
According to the source, Emefiele accused the bosses of the secret police of benefitting from multi-billion intervention funds given by the CBN.
“Are you surprised nothing is being heard about Emefiele from the DSS again? He has actually silenced their bosses. He confronted the leaders and senior officials of the DSS with their corruption scorecard,” a top official of the apex bank told SaharaReporters.
“He exposed how they too collected intervention funds from the CBN.”
This is not the first time Emefiele was accused of buying the silence of key people in government.
Recently, a member of the House of Representatives for Yankwashi/Roni/Gwiwa/Kazaure Federal Constituency, Gudaji Kazaure accused Emefiele of granting scandalous loans to some ‘powerful’ Nigerians, with each of them getting a minimum of about N2 billion.
According to the lawmaker, he was also offered a N1.8 billion interest and collateral-free loan by the CBN.
Kazaure had revealed, “I was approached about the CBN loan by House Committee on Banking and Currency, Hafisu. He told me that there was N1.8 billion facility with zero interest for me at the CBN and that no collateral was required.
“I declined the offer and explained that I do not have control over money because all money under my custody belongs to my constituents. Therefore, if I take the loan, I might get into trouble someday.
“Now if I had collected the money, I’d have lost my voice and would not be able to talk as I’m doing now. As for my colleague, he told me he was given N2 billion.
“I swear with the glorious Qur’an, he told me he collected N2 billion. Make no mistake, this is among some of the least facilities given to prominent Nigerians; some of these issues, you don’t want to hear because they’re staggering.
“And, listen, in due course we’ll expose some of our colleagues who rushed to speak in defence of the CBN; we’ll tell people how the monies were disbursed and how much every one of them got.
“Again, I swear by the glorious Qur’an, I have the records of all those who benefited from the CBN loan. This includes governors, companies and individuals in Nigeria.”
The lawmaker had earlier revealed Emefiele allegedly offered N1 billion bribe to get the apex bank’s N2.4 trillion 2023 budget passed.
He also accused the CBN boss of planting his men in strategic positions at the National Assembly, in order to do for them to do his bidding.
Kazaure added that some members of the National Assembly benefitted from Emefiele’s monumental corrupt dealings.
He said, “Shortly after the election of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Godwin Emefiele swiftly and smartly so, through pecuniary inducements influenced the selection of members of the House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency, particularly the chairman, in the person of Honorable Victor Nwokolo, who represents his (Emefiele) constituency. In fact, he is Emefiele’s younger brother.
“This man has practically bought over not just members of the National Assembly, but every influential Nigerian because the man (Emefiele) is richer than the Federal Government.”