Why the DSS wanted to arrest CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele

Nigeria’s secret police, the Department of State Services (DSS) failed in its attempt to arrest and detain the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, over allegations bothering on “acts of financing terrorism, fraudulent activities and economic crimes of national security dimension.”

This came after a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja reportedly declined the secret police’s application to issue an arrest warrant for the CBN governor.

Justice J.T. Tsoho, who declined to grant the ex parte motion which sought to arrest Emefiele, was reported to have said that the DSS did not provide any concrete evidence to substantiate its claims that Emefiele was involved in terrorism financing and economic crimes.

According to Punch, the judge who refused to grant the DSS request said, ‘’In the light of the foregoing reasons, I decline to grant this application ex parte. If the applicant believes that the evidence available to it so far is sufficient, then it can as well arrest and detain the applicant, even without the order of the court. If however, the applicant desires to still pursue this application, then it should place the respondent on notice considering the sensitive public office that he occupies.”

Meanwhile, there are reports that the judge was uncomfortable with the fact that the application by the DSS to arrest the CBN Governor was not accompanied by presidential approval despite the sensitive nature of the matter and its grave implications for the Nigerian economy.

Naira redesign

The recent travails of Emefiele might be political, likely the consequence of his decision to redesign the country’s three largest denomination banknotes. The CBN governor has also introduced a new cashless policy that will limit the amount of cash Nigerians can withdraw. All of these coming months before the 2023 general elections will impact politicians who rely on vote buying to win elections.

Earlier, there had been reports of a huge protest of people numbering over 200 who stormed a Federal High Court in Abuja following a reported suit secretly filed by the DSS, accusing the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, of terrorism financing and other crimes.

The group of civil society organizations had raised alarm over an alleged plot to frame Emefiele for terrorism and remove him from office.

The protesters, who carried placards with various inscriptions, also alleged that the DSS embarked on the plot to remove the CBN governor for political and pecuniary reasons.

The DSS reaction

Meanwhile, the DSS in its reaction to the recent protests by some groups, stated that it would not join issues with those protesting the suit filed against the CBN governor, saying they were on a wild goose chase.

The secret police warned Nigerians against being used as instruments of destabilization, saying that the service will not be distracted by those seeking to use “propaganda” to undermine its lawful investigations.

The DSS in a press release by its spokesman, Peter Afunanya, maintained that it remains focused and unbiased and would not succumb to propaganda, intimidation and the desperation of hirelings to undermine it.

  • Afunanya in the statement said, ‘’As such, the Service will continue to disseminate actionable intelligence to the relevant authorities devoid of any sentiment
  • “While professionally discharging its mandate, the DSS pledges to. It will also not give room to the use of falsehood and deceit to misdirect public understanding and perceptions of issues of national importance.
  • “It will also not give room to the use of falsehood and deceit to misdirect public understanding and perceptions of issues of national importance.
  • ”The service warned those on a wild goose chase to be mindful of their actions. Similarly, it urges members of the public to disregard the vituperations and rantings of misguided elements and not allow themselves to be used as instruments of destabilization.”


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