EXCLUSIVE: Plot To Stop Godwin Emefiele’s Re-appointment As CBN Gov Thickens As Battle Shifts To Senate
Some powerful forces within the Presidency who failed in their bid to stop President Muhammadu Buhari from re-nominating Godwin Emefiele as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) have devised other plans to stop him.
President Buhari’s letter re-nominating Emefiele for a second term was read by the senate president, Bukola Saraki during plenary on May 9. Emefiele is expected to go through senate screening and confirmation before his re-appointment could be valid.
But forces opposed to his re-appointment are doing everything to ensure Emefiele does not pass the senate screening.
These forces, said to be within the presidency, have recruited some individuals to write and submit anti-Emefiele petitions to the senate making spurious allegations of corruption against the CBN governor, his associates and key aides.
THE WHISTLER learnt authoritatively that the anti-Emefiele camp in the Presidency became distraught as soon as it became public knowledge that Buhari had re-nominated the CBN governor for a second term.
The appointment, the website learnt, is seen as a pointer to the direction the second term of President Buhari would take.
Thus, they immediately hatched another ‘Stop Emefiele’ plot by leaking a 2018 audio recording of a conversion between the CBN governor, his Deputy Edward Lametek Adamu, the Director for Finance Dayo M. Arowosegbe and some aides of Emefiele.
The conversations were interpreted as a discussion about how to cover up the loss of over N500billion allegedly stolen from the CBN and diverted into a private investment that went bust.
An online newspaper, quoting sources, had published two telephone audio tapes which allegedly revealed how the governor and top officials of the CBN discuss how to conceal the loss of billions in a Dubai investment.
Apart from sending petitions to the senate, one of those they recruited-a known ex-convict in the US-has also filed a suit against the confirmation of Emefiele’s re-appointment.
Those plotting to stop Emefiele’s confirmation hugely rely on the audio tape of his conversation they leaked to the media.
The end is to generate so much controversy around the tapes that would make Emefiele’s confirmation an impossible task without compromising the integrity of the apex bank.
But the CBN’s admission that the tapes were authentic but that the allegations were false may have taken the wind out of their sail.
A statement by CBN spokesman, Isaac Okorafor, accused Sahara reporters of publishing ‘selective conversations’ of the CBN governor to justify the allegations.
He said the N500 billion alleged to have been stolen was money to assist states to pay the salaries, pensions and gratuities of their workers in the aftermath of the huge drop in global oil prices and associated Federation Accounts allocations.
He said to facilitate the recovery of the economy from the continuous impact of the recession, the CBN provided about N650 billion in loans at 9 per cent with a two-year grace period to 35 states of the Federation.
According to Mr Okorafor, the National Economic Management Team and the National Economic Council (NEC), chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, had approached the CBN in 2015 to assist state governments with Conditional Budget Support.
He added that the monies were distributed to the states monthly with documented approval of the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Presidency.
Emefiele was first appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014 and was retained after Buhari assumed office in 2015.