BREAKING: Emefiele back in office after annual leave – CBN

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Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, resumed duty on Monday morning after his annual vacation abroad.

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A letter signed by Osita Nwanisobi, Director, of Corporate Communications, said that “the Governor resumed on January 16 with renewed vigour to perform his duty ahead of the first Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the year scheduled for January 23 to 24, 2023.”

He further stated that Emefiele remains committed to performing the task before him in line with his oath of office and the policy direction of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“While thanking the public for keeping faith with the Bank, we urge Nigerians to continue to
support the policies of the Bank aimed at ensuring a stable financial system and the Nigerian economy in general.”

Emefiele, who went on leave before Christmas, has been in the news as it emerged that the Department of State Services (DSS) tried to arrest him in December 2022.

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He spent the first part of his leave in the US and was in the UK until Sunday evening from where he flew back to Nigeria and arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Monday morning.

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The DSS had approached a federal high court in Abuja seeking a warrant to arrest him over allegations that he was involved in terrorism financing and economic crimes.

In declining the motion ex parte — usually filed by an applicant in the absence of the respondent — Justice JT Tsoho, the chief judge, said the secret police did not provide any concrete evidence to substantiate its claims.

There were suggestions that the bid to arrest Emefiele might be political given the impact the redesign of the naira and limit on cash withdrawals might have on vote-buying in the 2023 elections.

A group of civil society organisations raised the alarm that there was a plot to frame Emefiele for terrorism and remove him from office.

However, the DSS swiftly warned against anyone being used to “undermine” its investigations, although it did not specifically name Emefiele. 

Peter Afunanya, the DSS spokesperson, said the service would not be distracted by those seeking to use “propaganda” to undermine its lawful investigations.

The presiding judge of the federal capital territory (FCT) high court sitting in Maitama, M.A Hassan,  later issued an order  restraining the  DSS from arresting the CBN governor.