Stop persecution of Emefiele, Agbor Stakeholders appeal to Tinubu

“Several court orders had been secured for his release but they were serially and flagrantly disobeyed by the DSS. Judging by the ferocity with which Emefiele is being pursued, it seems someone wants him dead."

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Stop persecution of Emefiele, Agbor Stakeholders appeal to Tinubu
Godwin Emefiele – Former CBN Governor

Agbor Stakeholders Forum have decried what it describes as the ‘relentless hounding and persecution’ of their kinsman, former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

In a statement signed by Kachiku Kanene for Agbor Stakeholders Forum, the group said: “We, the stakeholders and elders of Agbor stock have watched with concern and indeed, consternation, the relentless hounding and persecution of our brother and mentor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele.

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The statement cotinued: “Emefiele who has been the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for the past nine years is currently being sequestered and shackled like a common criminal by the Nigerian state he has served so diligently over these years.

” A few days after the inception of the current administration (on May 9th precisely), Mr. Emefiele was suspended from office as governor of the CBN for no stated reason.

“This was done regardless that his position is tenured and still subsisting – until he was removed under duress. The following day, (June 10), our brother was virtually ‘abducted’ from his Lagos home by officials of the Department of State Service (DSS) and flown to Abuja in a manner fit only fora renegade.

“Our brother has not been allowed to return home since then. Almost six months after, Mr Emefiele has remained in the custody of the DSS; and lately, the EFCC. No charge was filed against him for a long spell of incarceration.

“Several court orders had been secured for his release but they were serially and flagrantly disobeyed by the DSS. Judging by the ferocity with which Emefiele is being pursued, it seems someone wants him dead.

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“What is Emefiele’s offence? Recall that in February, DSS had told the world that its preliminary investigations revealed that Emefiele committed various acts of terrorism financing and involvement in economic crimes of national security dimension.

” But to our surprise, when Emefiele was finally arraigned at the Federal High Court lkoyi, Lagos after six weeks of further investigations, all they could charge him for was illegal possession of one single-barrel shotgun and ammunition.

“No mention was made of economic crimes or terrorism financing. It is remarkable that though Emefiele was hurriedly removed from his Ikoyi residence on June 10, a shotgun was to be found in the same house on June 15th while he was being held in Abuja.

” This is a pointer to the fact that the evidence against Emefiele was only being dredged up after he was arrested. Now the only charge the DSS preferred against Emefiele was possession of a shotgun and few rounds of ammunition.

” But most troubling is that our brother was again bodily prised from the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) by officials of the DSS in flagrant contempt of the Lagos court that had granted him bail and specifically ordered that he be remanded at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre.

“But to the shock of Nigerians, the DSS had secured an anticipatory order from another court to counter the orders of the court they were arraigning him in. The question is: what is the special interest on our brother?”

On the disdain for the serial court orders, the Agbor Stakeholders said: “It is noteworthy that nearly half a dozen courts in Nigeria had ruled in favour of outright release of Emefiele or that he be granted bail. But all the orders were shunned by the DSS.

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” Here area few: on December 29, 2022, Justice M.A. Hassan of the FHC, Maitama, FCT, Abuja, issued a restraining order on the DSS to among others, refrain from arresting, detaining, proceeding against him, breaching or interfering with his personal liberty and freedom of movement; or taking any other steps against him in connection with any other allegation… before or from any other courts from the date of this judgment of Justice M. A. Hassan.

“On July 13th, 2023 another FCT High Court Justice Hamza Muazu) sitting in Maitama Abuja, had ordered the DSS to charge Emefiele to court or release him.

“On July 14th, 2023, Justice Bello Kawu of the FCT High Court sitting in Apo, Abuja voided Emefiele’s arrest and detention as a violation of a subsisting judgment and order of Hon. Justice M.A. Hassan. These judgments and more were ignored.”

Allegeding that this was a vendetta over the naira redesign policy, they said “the traducers of our brother are willing to break any law of the land and deny him any basic freedom and rights in order to punish him for carrying out his statutory duties during his time as governor of CBN.

“There’s no doubt that Emefiele’s unjust detention, emotional torture and rubbishing of his image has to do with President Muhammadu Buhari’s naira redesign policy of last year.

“Recall that the APC federal government had moved to change the face of Nigeria’s currency in the run up to the 2023 elections. The reasons stated were: to reduce inflation and shore up the currency’s value by calling in huge cash stockpile in the hands of politicians.

” President Buhari had stated openly that he desired a free and fair election that was not mired by vote buying. This policy which was obviously initiated by the President didn’t go down well with many APC candidates and politicians who saw it as a ploy by the presidency to hamper their electoral chances.

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” The policy seemed to be designed to starve them vote-buying cash. They had dragged the CBN and the president to court then. Today, Emefiele is being punished for taking directives from his boss, the former president in the course of a routine, legitimate, government business.”

Appeal

The stakeholders and leaders of Agbor, in their appeal noted that they were  pained “that our brother is being ridiculed and dragged in the muck by a country he served so creditably well. And we now have strong fears that someone wants out brother dead.

“Recall that Emefiele, a successful banker who as managing director of the biggest and most profitable bank in Nigeria before he was headhunted to run the apex bank, was one of the pillars of the Buhari administration and the APC government.

” It’s on record that Emefiele went beyond the call of duty to initiate far-reaching fiscal and development initiatives in agriculture, infrastructure and poverty alleviation. We remember that before the currency redesign episode, Emefiele’s CBN was hailed as the face of the Buhari administration and the signpost of critical achievements in rice production and agric development in general.

“Even though no single case of corruption has been levelled against Emefiele and the CBN, yet President Tinubu has just ordered a forensic audit of the apex Bank. It is uncanny that CBN is the only federal institution being so x-rayed after eight years of Buhari.

“With the elections over, and the diadem won and lost, we appeal to President Bola Tinubu to be magnanimous in victory and allow our brother to return home with some honour and dignity to take his well deserved rest along with other former Buhari appointees who have returned to their homesteads unmolested.

“We make bold to say that but for the ugly political turn of events in the APC, Emefiele was serving out his term as a hero of the Buhari era. Once again, we plead with our president Please let our brother go”.

Full text of the statement