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CBN Gov Emefiele returns to work after 4-week vacation as DSS debunks speculation of his arrest

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By Oludare Mayowa

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele returned to work on Monday after a four-week vacation abroad.

A statement by the Director of Corporate Communications of the bank, Osita Nwanisobi, stated that Emefiele resumed duty on Monday.

“The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has resumed duty after his annual vacation abroad. Emefiele, who proceeded on leave in December 2022, resumed today, Monday, January 16, 2023.

“The governor resumed 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.

“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,” Nwanisobi said in the statement.

Meanwhile, the Department of State Services has denied invading the office of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.

There were reports in some media outlets (not The PUNCH ) that the DSS had stormed the CBN headquarters to arrest the governor of the apex bank.

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A statement by the DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, noted that the reports in some media that operatives of the secret police invaded the regulatory bank office with the intent to arrest Emefiele ‘is fake news.’

“The attention of the Department of State Services has been drawn to the false news making the rounds that its operatives invaded the Central Bank of Nigeria and arrested its governor, today, January 16, 2023. This is fake news and quite misleading, “Afunanya said.

Last week, Global Financial Digest reported that Emefiele is expected back in the country this week after the expiration of his leave.

There have been some speculations in the local media that Emefiele was back in the country on last Wednesday, but sources within the regulatory bank had told one of our correspondents that the Governor was yet to be back as his official leave is not over yet.

The speculations in the media over the fate of Emefiele were triggered by the action of the DSS which had filed an ex perte motion at a federal high court in Abuja seeking a warrant to arrest the governor over allegations that he was involved in terrorism financing and economic crimes.

However, the court declined the secret police request on the ground that the DSS failed to provide any concrete evidence to substantiate its claims.

Another federal capital territory (FCT) high court in Maitama, headed by M.A. Hassan later issued an order restraining the  DSS from arresting the CBN governor.

The move by the secret police to persecute him may not be unconnected with the recent policy by the CBN to redesign the nation’s currency and also restrict the volume of cash in circulation, which may impact the ongoing political process.

There have been hues and crying within the political space by politicians who believed that the move will encumber their success in the forthcoming election and tends to curtail spending to influence the direction of the next month’s election.

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