Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria is allegedly engrossed in a scandal involving an unaccounted sum of $289 million. It would be recalled that in 2019, the Apex bank under the authority of Emefiele had faced similar accusations involving N500 billion.
On Tuesday, the Nigerian senate public accounts committee said they might demand an arrest warrant for the governor of the central bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, over his absence and refusal to honour previous invitations served by the Nigerian senate.
Emefiele is being invited for questioning by the legislature, for the release of $289m cash to an Ex Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke, which happened sometime in 2015.
Last week, during the evaluation of a report by the Auditor General for the Federation, the Senate discovered how the CBN dispensed $289m cash to the former NIA DG.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, claimed the CBN governor had been summoned numerous times, but he ignored the invitations.
Urhoghide believes if Emefiele himself could not be present, at least he should have sent an official of the CBN to appear and brief the committee.
Urhoghide further emphasized that the silence of Emefiele has prompted the senate to consider the use of an upper hand, which is consulting with the Senate leadership, with a view to issuing a warrant for the arrest of the governor of the Central Bank.
“There are over 10 issues highlighted in the audit query that need to be addressed by Emefiele and his top officials,” Urhoghide said.
Additionally, Godwin Okonkwko, The Director of Finance of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation disclosed to the committee that $289m was released to the former NIA DG. Okonkwo revealed that the money was released after a directive from the NNPC.
It is believed that the $43m found in an upscale apartment, in the Ikoyi area of Lagos in 2017, which led to the dismissal of Oke as the DG of NIA was a fraction of $289m cash, that was collected by the DG from the NNPC.
One iconic statement made by the president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari is ‘’if Nigeria doesn’t kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.’’ Over the years Buhari’s administration has been vocal about putting an end to corruption and zero tolerance for any form of stealing from the government’s treasure.
It’s only justifiable that this government keeps to its promise of protecting taxpayers’ money and public funds by conducting though investigation. Upon it finding, get all guilty stakeholders involved to answer to the laws of the country.
Furthermore, considering the current financial battles Nigeria is facing to keep its economy stable, the country has to make a smart choice, between recovering looted funds or the luxury of pardoning embezzled funds, which can serve a significant purpose in developing the nation.