Emefiele’s Passport Seized, Home and Office Under Scrutiny By DSS
In a recent development, the Department of State Services (DSS) has taken possession of the passport belonging to Godwin Emefiele, the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Sources within the DSS indicate that there are plans to conduct searches at Emefiele’s home and office later this week.Emefiele’s suspension, which occurred on Friday amidst an ongoing investigation into his office and proposed financial sector reforms, led to his arrest in Lagos by the DSS. He was subsequently flown to Abuja via a private jet on Saturday. According to Peter Afunanya, the spokesperson for the DSS, Emefiele is currently in custody and under investigation.A reliable source within the DSS revealed that the confiscation of Emefiele’s travel document is a standard procedure during an ongoing investigation. Additionally, both his residence and office will be subjected to searches for potential documents that could aid the ongoing inquiry into his management of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).It is worth noting that other high-ranking officials at the CBN may also face questioning or potential arrests regarding their involvement in the administration of the apex bank. The DSS is reportedly considering revisiting previous criminal charges against Emefiele, particularly those related to terrorism financing and fraud. Furthermore, the agency has accused the suspended governor of mismanaging the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending and the Anchor Borrowers Programme, both subsidiaries of the CBN.Despite numerous attempts to reach Peter Afunanya, the DSS spokesperson, he could not be reached for comment at the time of reporting. However, human rights lawyer Femi Falana, SAN, expressed his belief that the DSS lacks the constitutional authority to investigate and prosecute Emefiele. Falana suggested that Emefiele should be transferred to the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which possesses the necessary legal mandate for such proceedings.In a message to our correspondent, Falana referenced a Supreme Court ruling in the case of Dr. Bukola Saraki v. Federal Republic of Nigeria, where it was determined that the EFCC lacked the authority to investigate and prosecute Saraki for breaching the provisions of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act. Falana argues that this legal precedent should be applied to Emefiele’s case, indicating that after the SSS concludes its investigation into the allegations of terrorism financing, the EFCC should take over for further scrutiny.As the situation unfolds, the fate of Godwin Emefiele remains uncertain, and the investigations into the alleged misconduct at the CBN continue to captivate public attention.