The leading opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday demanded the arrest and prosecution of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele for purchasing the N100 million Presidential forms for the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
Debo Ologunagba, National Publicity Secretary of PDP said at a Press Conference in Abuja that it alerted the nation when it got intelligence that Emefiele was being promoted by The Presidency as presidential candidate of the APC in the 2023 general elections.
“At that time, we drew the attention of Nigerians to the provisions of the CBN Act 2007 and particularly referenced Section 9 which provides that “the Governor and the Deputy Governors shall devote the whole of their time to the service of the bank and while holding office, shall not engage in any full or part-time employment or vocation, whether remunerated or not…”
“This provision is clear in demanding that 100 percent of the time and expertise of the CBN Governor and Deputy Governors shall be dedicated to the service of the CBN. This is because the CBN is critical to the integrity and stability of our economy.
“Furthermore, Section 030422 of the Public Service Rule states that no public officer shall (a) “hold any office, paid or unpaid, permanent or temporary, in any political organization”, (b) offer himself/herself or nominate anyone else as a candidate for any elective public office…”, (c) “indicate publicly his support of or opposition to any party, candidate or policy and (d) “engage in canvassing in support of political candidates” unless such officer resigns his appointment.
“Importantly, Section 030502 (g) of the Rule lists “engaging in partisan political activities’ as SERIOUS ACT OF MISCONDUCT.
‘Emefiele’s involvement in politics without resigning as CBN Governor therefore amounts to gross misconduct in contravention of Section 11 2 (2)(c) of the CBN Act,” he said.
Ologunagba said now that Emefiele had joined politics and obtained the N100 million Presidential aspirant form from the APC, he could not continue to resume at the CBN which is the commonwealth of the nation.
“By this Mr. Emefiele has become a clear and present danger to the health, integrity and reputation of the CBN and our nation’s financial sector. His continued stay as CBN Governor will further destroy investors’ confidence in the integrity of our nation’s financial regulatory Institution.
“Mr. Emefiele’s involvement in partisan politics while still holding office as CBN Governor underpins the impunity, lawlessness and recklessness of the Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration. It further confirms that the CBN under Emefiele has all along been the finance department of the APC.
“It is now evident that the summersault of the economy under Mr. Emefiele as CBN Governor has been influenced by a personal partisan interest for which the CBN under his watch allegedly allowed multiple leakages in our financial regulations through discriminatory exchange rate policies and nebulous subsidies to funnel billons of naira to political lackies to fund a presidential ambition.
“This also explains why under Emefiele, the CBN which is supposed to be the bankers’ bank continues to engage in fraudulent retail banking services under ill-defined economic intervention programmes to plunder the treasury.
“The tsunamic macro-economic and fiscal policies of the CBN under Emefiele brought untold hardship to the productive and service sectors of our nation’s economy with consequential negative effect on the lives of our citizens.
It is provocative that instead of being remorseful, Mr. Emefiele is even insulting the sensibilities of Nigerians by seeking the office of the President while still holding office as CBN Governor,” he added.
He said the PDP pointed to reports in the public space of how Emefiele’s agents through corrupt practices, including manipulation of exchange rate, allegedly amassed sum close to $1 billion dollar which is already being deployed by the purchase of hundreds of Emefiele branded campaign vehicles in the colours of the APC in furtherance of a lavish Presidential campaign.
Ologunagba said the direct consequences of such atrocious regime in the CBN under Emefiele was the collapse of the naira from N197 to N600 to a dollar, the crippling of productive sector, multiple economic recession, increased poverty, inflation and unemployment rates, high costs of living and excruciating hardship to our citizens.
“It is indeed saddening that President Muhammadu Buhari, who promised zero tolerance for corruption will enable, encourage and condone such atrocious regime in the CBN where our economy is opened to fraudulent pillaging to promote a political ambition.
“Our Party stands with Nigerians in demanding the immediate arrest, investigation and prosecution of Mr. Emefiele by security and anti-graft agencies, particularly the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged financial malfeasance and abuse of office in the CBN under his watch.
As Nigerians we are determined to confront this evil. We wish Mr. Emefiele well in his new found but ill-fated political vocation but we demand that he must be brought to account for the activities that he undertook, supervised and superintended over the years that he has been at the helm of affairs at the CBN and for which our economy is in comatose.
“The PDP calls on all Nigerians; the Civil Society, Students, Organized Labour, the Media and all lovers of good governance to rise up as the PDP takes drastic actions in leading the charge to defend the integrity of the CBN, Rule of Law and ensure that those who brought our economy to its knees face the wrath of the law,” he added.