Emefiele victim of political vendetta, witch-hunt, by Agbor stakeholders

By Bianca Emefu-Iboma

Kinsmen of the embattled former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, under the aegis of Agbor Stakeholders Forum (ASF), are protesting against what they call “operation destroy Emefiele.”

In a statement issued at the weekend and signed by Kanene Kachikwu, the group said it had watched with alarm, the seeming intention of the federal government to hunt down and destroy their son, Mr Godwin Emefiele, by any means possible. Emefiele’s kinsfolks and stakeholders in his Agbor homestead had cried out last year after he was detained for over six months without bail.

The statement said: “Though he was finally granted bail, we are moved to cry out once more in view of the relentless propaganda and media assault the Federal Government has unleashed on Mr Emefiele in the last couple of weeks. We are worried that since the beginning of this administration,¬† one man has been subjected to the investigation of the Department of State Service (DSS), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and a Special Financial¬† Investigator, Mr Jim Obazee, yet no charges against him has been able to stand in the face of the court.

“As we chronicled in our first appeal, our brother has been charged with over half a dozen offences and all of them have failed in different courts. The DSS first accused him of financing terrorism. After a thorough search of all his residences,¬† all they got was a little gun, more like a toy gun.

“Then the EFCC took over and combed through all his financial records. They went to press that N7.1 trillion was missing. This was to later turn to N1.2 billion official vehicles procurement irregularity allegedly perpetrated by Emefiele and a female colleague. This too didn’t stand in the court of law.

Most recently, the EFCC claimed it is probing forex transactions of the CBN spanning the last nine years (2014 – 2023).

“Here’s a sample of the calumny and propaganda against Emefiele that has been put out in the public for a probe that has not been carried out: ‘The EFCC source said: ‘The EFCC¬† is investigating over 85 entities, which includes companies and individuals….

‘But it should be noted that our investigation is comprehensive, it is deeper and more encompassing, and absolutely independent of the CBN investigator, Obazee’s report. The charges against the former CBN governor will most likely be amended as there have been more discoveries from the forex probe.’

“This is typical of the lies and deceit in the various so-called probes of Emefiele. Questions to be asked are: does the EFCC have capacity and and personnel to probe nine years of daily forex transactions? Why is the EFCC probe different from Special Investigator, Obazee’s probe.

“Finally,¬† Obazee told the world in its leaked report that Emefiele had interests in three bank necessitating the takeover of the banks. But when the bank’s management was changed a few days ago,¬† different reasons were adduced.

“According to the CBN, the infractions of the three banks (Union, Keystone and Polaris banks) range from, ‘regulatory noncompliance, corporate governance failure, disregarding the conditions under which their licences were granted, and involvement in activities that pose a threat to financial stability, among others. In all of this, the CBN didn’t give specific details of what makes up infringement and noncompliance.

“Our point and also our grouse, is that these probes, investigations and reports therefrom are all politically motivated attempts to ‘destroy’ our brother for his alleged role in former President Buhari‚Äôs naira redesign policy. We make bold to say that all these investigations will turn out for good as they have shown Emefiele as a very decent man who can still stand after investigations by the DSS,¬† EFCC and a special investigator. Yet no serious offence has been brought against him.

“In closing,¬† we make bold to say that hardly anyone in government can survive this kind of scrutiny without being in jail already. In the light of this,¬† we therefore consider the pursuit of Mr Godwin Emefiele, a successful and thoroughbred banker as a political vendetta and witch-hunt and an attempt to destroy him. This is operation destroy Emefiele. We once again call on President Tinubu to call off this charade and let an innocent man be.”

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