The Department of State Services (DSS) has denied reports that its operatives invaded the headquarters of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to arrest the governor of the apex bank, Godwin Emefiele, on Monday afternoon.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of DSS, Peter Afunanya.
He described the report of the invasion as fake news and misleading.
“The attention of the Department of State Services (DSS) has been drawn to the false news making the round that its operatives invaded the Central Bank of Nigeria and arrested its Governor, today 16/1/23. This is fake news and quite misleading,” Afunanya stated.
Meanwhile, the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has resumed duty after his annual vacation abroad.
Emefiele, who proceeded on annual leave in December 2022, resumed work this Monday, January 16, 2023.
CBN spokesman, Osita Nwasinobi, said “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.
However, the development appears to have put a temporary stop to the reported plot by the DSS to arrest the nation’s number one banker.
Emefiele, perhaps the most embattled and controversial CBN governor in the recent history of the country, left the country last month following the decision of the DSS to arrest him.
In December, the secret service agency approached an Abuja court to arrest Emefiele over allegations bordering on financing terrorism and money laundering, among others.
However, the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja reportedly stopped the DSS from arresting the CBN governor for alleged “acts of financing terrorism, fraudulent activities and economic crimes of national security dimension.”
The DSS filed a suit on December 7, 2022, seeking to arrest the CBN governor. But Justice J.T Tsoho declined to grant the application for the governor’s arrest on December 9, 2022.
The suit, with reference number FHC/Abj/CS/2255/2022, had State Security Services as the applicant.
Refusing to grant the DSS request, the judge said, “In the light of the foregoing reasons, I decline to grant this application ex parte. If the applicant believes that the evidence available to it so far is sufficient, then it can as well arrest and detain the applicant, even without the order of the court. If, however, the applicant desires to still pursue this application, then it should place the respondent on notice considering the sensitive public office that he occupies.”
Also, the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, on December 29, barred the DSS and the Inspector General of Police from arresting and detaining Emefiele, over allegations of terrorism and sundry offences against him.