Revered monarchs and top political bigwigs are reportedly mounting pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to prevent the operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) from arresting the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.
Reports obtained on Tuesday claimed that the president’s nephew, Mamman Daura and the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, are among influential individuals urging the Nigerian leader to help the apex bank’s governor evade scrutiny by the secret police.
Sources who confided in SaharaReporters told the news platform that the Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero; Emir of Bichi, Nasir Ado Bayero whose daughter is married to Yusuf, the only son of the President and some other first-class monarchs are working tirelessly to be able to convince the President and the DSS to back out of their drive to arrest and prosecute Emefiele.
“Mamman Daura, Emir of Kano, Emir of Bichi, and many of the kings are working round the clock to see how they can convince the President and DG SSS to back out of their drive to try him.
“Governor (Nasir) El-Rufai and many other governors that benefited from the usual loan from CBN are also working round the clock to stop his arrest,” one of the sources told the reporters.
One of the sources close to Emefiele said the apex bank governor has been living in fear since his reported return to Nigeria last Wednesday from the United States.
There were speculations earlier that Emefiele secretly returned to Nigeria and was hiding in Abuja.
“Emefiele is in Abuja. He arrived (from the US) on Wednesday,” SaharaReporters had quoted a source earlier saying.
There have been a series of controversies since the DSS obtained an order to arrest Emefielfe on sight. Two DSS officials familiar with Emefiele’s matter had confirmed that the domestic intelligence office of the secret police had deployed several officers to monitor the CBN Headquarters, Emefiele’s family residence in Lagos and the Abuja home of businessman Christopher Emefiele, unrelated by blood.
The DSS had earlier accused Emefiele of aiding and abetting acts of terrorism. The security agency said the CBN governor was allegedly involved in the funding of international and local terrorism.
It said preliminary investigation revealed various acts of terrorism financing, fraudulent activities perpetrated by Emefiele and his involvement in economic crimes of national security dimension.
A Federal High Court in Abuja however refused to issue an arrest warrant to the secret police to arrest the apex bank governor.
On Wednesday, despite his secret arrival, the CBN said Emefiele would not appear before the House of Representatives on Thursday as scheduled.
In a letter addressed to the House and read by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, during plenary, the apex bank said the governor was not yet back in the country because he was attending to an official engagement and health challenges abroad.
“Emefiele has refused to return to Nigeria claiming heart ailment. He was supposed to return Nigeria yesterday after travelling with Buhari to the US-Africa Leadership Summit in Washington DC,” a source had told reporters.
“He ought to have returned yesterday but told CBN board he will return today. We learnt that his people loyal to him at the DSS advised him not to come yet because he may be arrested.
“Upon arrival later, he might go on leave until things die down or he resigns under pressure,” it added.