The suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will likely spend prolonged days in detention as the Department of State Services is moving to approach a Magistrate Court to obtain an order to keep him for as long as his interrogation will last.
A source in the DSS revealed to The PUNCH that the Service would likely approach the court to obtain an order to detain the suspended CBN boss for an indefinite period or minimum of renewable one month to allow for unfettered interrogation.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had on Friday suspended Emefiele from office with immediate effect.
The Deputy Governor (Operations Directorate), Mr Folashodun Adebisi Shonubi, has already been appointed as the acting Governor.
This was sequel to the on-going investigation of Emefiele while in office and Tinubu’s proposed reforms in the financial sector of the economy, according to a statement by the Director of Information, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Willie Bassey.
According to the statement, Emefiele was directed to immediately hand over the affairs of his office to the Deputy Governor (Operations Directorate), Mr Folashodun Adebisi Shonubi pending conclusion of investigation and the reforms.
Emefiele was arrested in Lagos on Saturday by the DSS and immediately flown to Abuja.
A viral video showed the suspended apex bank’s boss being driven to the airport tarmac in an unmarked Hilux van sandwiched by security operatives.
After disembarking from the vehicle, he was escorted into a waiting plane where security operatives were waiting to receive him.
One of the operatives, who closely followed Emefiele, had in his hands a pair of handcuffs.
The source said: “He (Emefiele), is going to be with us for some time. We may obtain a court order to further detain him. The previous charges against him are there and further investigations may add to that.
“You know that he is a big man, and we have to make sure that the loose ends are tightened before we take him to court. Recall that we were looking for him before his suspension.
“Now that we have him, we will hear from him; hear what he has to say on those issues we have highlighted before.”
Another credible source added that the secret police had assembled a team of crack investigators to quiz Emefiele on wide range of issues, including alleged terrorism financing, diverting public funds to political gains and mismanagement of the economy and the apex bank, among others.
“We have a team of investigators, who are going to obtain statements from him.
“Honestly, Nigerians need to know what happened and why we were looking for him the other time,” the source added.
Meanwhile, Emefiele’s arrest is a precursor to the imminent purge of the top echelon of the apex bank, said to have become too ethnicised with staff members from particular tribe and religion.
Aside Emefiele, our sources informed that other top directors of the CBN would be quizzed as a comprehensive probe of Emefiele’s administration as directed by the President.
Dependable sources said the DSS would also go after senior officials in the procurement department of the CBN as well as special advisers to the embattled governor.
A source stated, “One of those under the radar of the DSS is a Special Adviser to the CBN governor.
“He retired from the CBN in 2021 as a Director but was retained by Emefiele as Special Adviser.
“He is believed to have an insider knowledge of all the actions taken by Emefiele.
“Other subjects of interest are senior officials and Directors in the Procurement Department.
“The fact is that many top directors will be invited questioning in the weeks ahead.”