EXCLUSIVE: Suspended Emefiele Arrested While Trying To Flee Nigeria
More facts have emerged about how the Department of State Services (DSS) arrested Godwin Emefiele, the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Naija News House learnt from top sources that the DSS has flown Emefiele from Lagos to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, after his arrest on Friday evening.
It was further gathered that the embattled CBN governor was fleeing Nigeria through the land border in Lagos when he was arrested by the DSS.
“Emefiele has been flown from Lagos to Abuja after the DSS arrested him. He was fleeing through the land border when he was arrested. He was arrested last night in Lagos,” an authoritative source revealed.
Naija News House had earlier reported that Emefiele’s arrest came same day the President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, suspended him from office with immediate effect.
Naija News House had earlier reported that Emefiele was suspended “sequel to the ongoing investigation of his office and the planned reforms in the financial sector of the economy” according to a release by Willie Bassey, the Director, Information, for the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume.
“Mr Emefiele has been directed to immediately hand over the affairs of his office to the Deputy Governor (Operations Directorate), who will act as the Central Bank Governor pending the conclusion of investigation and the reforms,” the release further said.
Ibom Focus had in February reported how the DSS attempted to arrest Emefiele, but the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor, shielded him by providing soldiers to guard his residence and office.
The DSS had said it intensified its investigations in order to arrest and prosecute Emefiele, on allegations of terrorism financing and fraud.
Ibom Focus had also in January reported that how Irabor meddled in the DSS investigation by providing cover for Emefiele, who returned to the country at that time from the United Kingdom and evaded arrest.
The CBN governor had headed to his office with massive security, specifically military protection, following his return to the country.
A senior DSS operative had recounted how the soldiers provided by the CDS countermanded the DSS officials who went to arrest Emefiele at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
“Had we not stood down our officers, there could have been a shootout between our men and the soldiers who had cordoned off the area when the plane landed and escorted the CBN governor to his residence,” he had said.
Naija News House had also in February reported that new court documents obtained from the DSS indicted Emefiele for funding “unknown gunmen” terrorising the Southeast region of the country.
DSS investigation revealed that the apex bank governor funded the groups with resources he raised for his failed presidential bid in 2022 and diverted public funds.
It added that the funds and the vehicles Emefiele had planned to use for his presidential campaign were channelled into the funding of “‘Unknown Gunmen’, ESN and elements of IPOB, a proscribed organisation.”
According to the secret police, Emefiele “on several occasions in actions prejudicial to the security of the Nigerian state,” engaged in “criminal conspiracy to divert government resources into suspicious acts of terrorism financing”.
It said the actions of the CBN governor were “meant to subvert and sabotage” the former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Top government sources shared with SaharaReporters how the investigation linked Emefiele to a well-known terror financier, whom the apex bank governor had sent funds for onward transfer to controversial Islamic cleric Sheikh Ahmad Gumi.
Gumi is known for hobnobbing with terrorists and bandits and advocating that amnesty should be granted to them.
In 2022, one of Gumi’s associates, Tukur Mamu, was arrested and detained by Interpol at Cairo International Airport in Egypt while awaiting a connecting flight to Saudi Arabia.
Upon his return to Nigeria, he was arrested by the DSS over allegations that he was heading to Saudi Arabia to meet with some international terrorists.
Meanwhile, the secret police said their preliminary investigation revealed various acts of terrorism financing, fraudulent activities perpetrated by Emefiele and his involvement in economic crimes of national security dimension including mismanaging the CBN subsidiary, NISRAL, and the central bank’s Anchor Borrowers Programme.
The secret police also accused Emefiele of “fraud, money laundering, round tripping and conferment of financial benefit to self and others.”