The ongoing probe of arms deal under the Goodluck Jonathan administration by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) might cost the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emiefiele, his job.
A source in the presidency told The Guardian that the recent revelations about movement of the funds, the controversy surrounding his appointment and the CBN governor’s involvement in the unexplained presence of former Bank Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) when President Buhari hosted members of the international business community in London, are being used against him.
The source said:“Already,a small team of legal and financial experts has been directed to weigh the various implications the removal of the CBN chief could trigger, especially to prevent a similar backlash, as when the past government engineered the untimely retirement of former CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.”
The source continued: “One thing you should known about Buhari is that before he takes a crucial decision that involves prominent appointees, he sets up a small committee to investigate the issues and report back to him”
The source also made reference to the former CEOs who showed up at the London meeting, which was said to have made President Buhari upset.
The President was said to have approached the duo, asking them how they were invited, and informing them that he personally handled the selection of who attended.
“Checks revealed the possibility that since the well known bankers added their voices in recommending Emefiele for the CBN job, he (Emefiele) might have hinted the two, convinced their clout would open doors for them.
“There is also information that the current CBN governor is remotely related to the immediate past Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy (CME) in President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala,” the source added.
Another source disclosed that the replacement for Emiefiele might be sought from the South East or South South geopolitical zones to avoid outrage and cries of marginalisation by the Buhari government.
The source said: “We cannot speculate on the possible candidates but former President Olusegun Obasanjo is believed to have dropped some hints to President Buhari about the right calibre of persons, including Professor Chukwuma Soludo and Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili.”
Recall that Shuaibu Salisu, a former Director of Finance in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), had revealed how $47million was withdrawn from the CBN in 11 suit cases and delivered to Sambo Dasuki, the former National Security Adviser.
Meanwhile, EFCC operatives are set to summon the former minister of finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and some top officials of the CBN to shed more light on what they know about the arms budget said to have been diverted by bigwigs of one of the political parties.
In a related development, members of Lagos State House of Assembly have urged the federal government to recover all stolen funds from corrupt past government officials and their cronies.