.He resigned as CBN governor in August –Report
Human rights lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) has asked the Federal Government to prosecute the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele, and the management of the apex bank over the cash shortage in the country early this year.
In a statement, on Sunday, he said that Emefiele and the CBN lied to Nigerians over the availability of cash owing to the redesign of the naira.
“Having misled Nigerians to believe that sufficient cash was distributed to commercial banks to replace the sum of N3.5 trillion mopped up from customers, Mr. Godwin Emefiele and the entire management of the CBN ought to be prosecuted for incitement and culpable homicide,” he said.
Falana also asked the CBN to rebuild the bank buildings that were destroyed by angry customers in the aftermath of the cash crunch occasioned by the redesign policy and also for the apex bank to compensate the families of those who were killed due to the incitement of the public.
“In addition, the CBN should rebuild the bank buildings that were destroyed and pay compensation to the families of those who were killed as a result of the incitement of members of the public,” Falana added.
The full statement from Femi Falana to the CBN reads:
CBN Mopped Up N3.5 Trollion But Disbursed N402 Billion Only
In January 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria claimed that it had supplied the commercial banks in the country with enough cash in line with its currency design policy. The apex bank purportedly directed security agencies to arrest and prosecute bank officials who were accused of sabotaging the new currency policy. Based on the statement, Nigerians trooped to the banks to collect cash. As the cash was insufficient, customers became angry.
The mass anger over the cash crunch provoked customers who burnt bank buildings and destroyed Automated Teller Machines in some states. The violence, paralysed social and economic activities, and claimed not less than five lives while many others were injured. But for the Supreme Court, which extended the deadline for the withdrawal of the old Naira notes up until December 31, 2023, the cash crunch would have made life more unbearable for the Nigerian people.
Convinced that the suspended governor of the Central Bank, Mr. Emefiele had lied and deceived the Nigerian people, we requested information about the actual amount made available to each of the commercial banks. In its belated response to our request, the CBN has now confirmed that it issued redesigned currency notes of N402 billion to the banks.
Having misled Nigerians to believe that sufficient cash was distributed to commercial banks to replace the sum of N3.5 trillion mopped up from customers, Mr. Godwin Emefiele and the entire management of the CBN ought to be prosecuted for incitement and culpable homicide. In addition, the CBN should rebuild the bank buildings that were destroyed and pay compensation to the families of those who were killed as a result of the incitement of members of the public.
.He resigned as CBN governor in August –Report
Meanwhile, Mr. Godwin Emefiele reportedly resigned as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in August
According to Reuters, Emefiele, who was suspended in June, tendered his resignation letter to President Bola Tinubu.
With Emefiele’s resignation, legal concerns regarding the nomination of Yemi Cardoso as the new governor of CBN have been laid to rest.
In a statement on Friday, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, announced Cardoso’s nomination.
The president also nominated four new deputy governors; namely Emem Nnana Usoro, Muhammad Sani Abdullahi Dattijo, Philip Ikeazor and Bala M. Bello.
Upon confirmation by the Senate, Cardoso is expected to serve for a term of five years.
- Emefiele’s Suspension And Trial
On June 9, Tinubu suspended Emefiele and asked him to transfer his responsibilities to Folashodun Adebisi Shonubi, deputy governor, operations directorate.
The day after, the DSS announced that Emefiele was in its custody for “some investigative reasons”.
On July 25, he was arraigned on a two-count charge bordering on “illegal possession” of firearms at a federal high court in Lagos and was granted bail in the sum of N20 million.
The two-count charge was later struck out on August 17 after the federal government withdrew.
However, a fresh 20-count charge was instituted against him over an alleged conspiracy to carry out procurement fraud, among others.
The arraignment has been stalled twice.
Some media reports had indicated that Emefiele was proposing a plea bargain to which the federal government was disposed.
The agreement required Emefiele to resign as CBN governor and “disgorge” some assets.
- Appointment And Removal Of A CBN Governor
By the provisions of the law, the president cannot remove a CBN governor unilaterally.
Section 11 of the Central Bank Act 2007 specifies the conditions upon which a CBN governor can be removed from office.
Section 11(2)(f) empowers the president to terminate the appointment of a CBN governor, but the “removal of the governor shall be supported by two-thirds majority of the Senate.”
If the president cannot get two-thirds majority of the senate, another option would be to wait until the CBN governor is convicted of a criminal offence by a court of competent jurisdiction, per section 11(2)(b).
However, section 11(3) of the CBN Act allows the CBN governor to resign by giving at least three months’ notice in writing to the president.
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