The Department of State Service (DSS) has reportedly arrested Abbas Umar Masanawa, the chief executive officer of Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), for allegedly conspiring with suspended CBN governor Emefiele to loot printing and minting corporation.
According to Peoples Gazatte, Masanawa was taken into custody three weeks ago and has remained there while their investigation continued.
Masanawa’s arrest stemmed from his role as the managing director of Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC). He resigned from NSPMC after picking a governorship election as a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The NSPMC is a subsidiary of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) responsible for printing and minting the nation’s currency notes, coins and high-level security documents.
“He was conspiring with Godwin Emefiele to loot the printing and minting agency,” a source familiar with the arrest said. “We are still tracing billions they stole,” Peoples Gazette quoted a credible source with the DSS.
It was not immediately clear why President Bola Tinubu approved the detention of Masanawa without first suspending him from office, especially since his detention for the past three weeks has crippled NIRSAL’s ability to operate. A presidential spokesman declined comments.
Emefiele was fired as CBN governor on June 9 and was arrested the next day by the DSS, which has kept him in custody ever since. He appeared in court on Thursday over a fresh charge of N6.9bn fraud.
A spokesperson for the SSS declined to speak on Mr Masanawa’s detention, which stood at 22 days as of Friday morning.
“No comment,” Peter Afunaya said in a message sent to him on Friday morning.