Nigerian Security Operatives link CBN Gov Emefiele to IPOB funding

Nigerian Security Operatives link CBN Gov Emefiele to IPOB funding

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) has been accused of funding unknown gunmen and members of the Indigenous Peoples and Biafra, (IPOB)

Documents from the State Security Operatives presented to the Court accused Emefiele of being a major sponsor of the armed groups on the South East where Emefiele comes from.

The CBN Governor is from the Igbo area of Delta State.

THE PREMIUM TIMES reports that the documents provide, for the first time, the missing details of the terrorism financing allegation which the SSS levelled against Mr Emefiele.

The frontline online media stated “Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has been funding “unknown gunmen” and members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the State Security Service (SSS) has alleged in court documents newly obtained by PREMIUM TIMES.
The documents provide, for the first time, the missing details of the terrorism financing allegation which the SSS levelled against Mr Emefiele last December.
IPOB is a separatist organisation that calls for the secession of the five Igbo-dominated states in South-east Nigeria and parts of neighbouring states as an independent Biafra nation.
The group blamed for violent acts in the South-east region in recent years has been declared a terrorist organiation and proscribed by a court as far back as September 2017.
The Nigerian media, including PREMUM TIMES, reported in December SSS’ futile bid to obtain an order of the Federal High Court in Abuja for the arrest of Mr Emefiele over wide-ranging allegations, including financing of terrorism.
The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, John Tsoho, after listening to SSS’ legal team, refused to grant the application for an order against Mr Emefile.

“The judge rejected the application in a ruling delivered on 9 December, citing an irregularity in the procedure adopted by the SSS in its application.
The Nigerian media, including PREMIUM TIMES, only became aware of the ruling 11 days after it was delivered by the court.

“But the reports did not provide details about the agency’s weighty allegations against Mr Emefiele.
Eight weeks after the court gave the decision, PREMIUM TIMES has now obtained the SSS’ court filings providing astonishing dimensions of the agency’s allegations against the CBN governor.
In a slew of weighty allegations, the SSS accused him of sabotaging the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, financing terrorism, aiding and abetting terrorism, and committing other economic crimes with effect of undermining Nigeria’s national security.
More specifically, the agency also accused Mr Emefiele of mismanaging the CBN subsidiary, NISRAL, and the central bank’s Anchor Borrowers Programme.

Call for detention

“Ateam of four lawyers from the SSS’ legal department filed its case against Mr Emefiele on 7 December.
But contrary to earlier reports suggesting that the application was for an order for the arrest of Mr Emefiele, it actually sought permission to detain Mr Emefile for 60 days to conclude an ongoing investigation of his alleged atrocities.
The application was filed as an ex parte motion, meaning it was not served on Mr Emefile.

“It was supported by an affidavit deposed to by an SSS official, Umar Salihu, who summarised the details of the investigations into the weighty crimes Mr Emefiele allegedly committed.
The deponent said “there is reasonable suspicion that the respondent (Mr Emefiele) was involved in terrorism financing, aiding and abetting acts of terrorism, economic crimes of national security dimension and for undermining the security of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

“He said the agency needed to apply to the court “for an order enabling the applicant to detain the respondent for sixty days, pending the conclusion of ongoing investigation …”
On the need for the court to issue the order, he said Mr Emefiele “is a man of means and can easily evade arrest and interfere with ongoing investigation if he is released on bail.”
Citing “credible intelligence”, the deponent mentioned some specific allegations over which the agency was investigating Mr Emefiele.
The allegations enumerated in the application lack specifics or any hint at what the CBN governor’s motivation to sponsor IPOB and other terrorists’ activities could be.

IPOB, terrorism funding

In about the most horrific of the allegations, the SSS accused Mr Emefiele of funding terrorism, unknown gunmen terrorising the South-east region, the IPOB and its armed wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN).
The SSS alleged that Mr Emefiele funded them with both the resources he raised for his failed presidential bid last year and funds diverted from government coffers.
Mr Emefiele, as sitting CBN governor, controversially bid for the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) last year. Images of his branded vehicles and other campaign materials surfaced online in the lead-up to the party’s primary election.
He also approached the Federal High Court in Abuja to obtain an order affirming his right to jostle for the APC’s ticket. But the court on 9 May refused to grant Mr Emefiele’s prayer.
The Nigeria’s spy agency said in its filing in December that Mr Emefiele “procures a number of vehicles and disbursed funds for his botched presidential ambition.”
It added that “the said funds and vehicles are being channelled into funding of Unknown Gunmen, Eastern Security Network (ESN) and elements of IPOB, a proscribed organisation.”
In addition, the agency said Mr 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 President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

But as weighty as the allegations, coming from the government’s flagship intelligence agency are, Mr Buhari has continued to hold one-on-one meetings with Mr Emefiele since December. This raises questions about whether the president has any regard for the “credible intelligence” the SSS claimed it gathered about the nation’s top banker.
The SSS, which is at the forefront of government’s efforts to quell separatist activities around the country, was holding the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, in custody when it linked Mr Emefiele to the funding of the proscribed group in December.
Neither the Presidency, the SSS nor Mr Emefiele has commented on the allegations.

Money laundering, fraud, mismanagement of interventionist funds”

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