DSS summons Emefiele, CBN Board members, 27 bank CEOs over forex allocations
The Department of State Services summoned the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele, the other 10 members of the board of directors, including the four deputy governors and six non-executive directors, as well as the CEOs/Managing Directors of 27 commercial banks in the nation over the weekend.
They are all required to come before the DSS today (Monday) and provide more information regarding the FX allocations made up to this point in 2017.
Emefiele, who chairs the board of directors of the apex bank, is anticipated to accompany other board members to the DSS headquarters in Abuja today.
Prior to disbursement, the CBN Board of Directors is legally permitted to consider and approve forex allocations based on requests.
However, it was learned that the DSS’s investigation into the forex allocations was required as a result of the shocking finding that forex allocations intended, in particular, for people in business and investments were not reaching those who truly needed and applied for them but were instead ending up in the pockets of a select group of privileged, powerful, and highly placed people, including Presidency officials and their acolytes.
According to a trustworthy source, “Nigerians as well as the international community will be surprised at what has been discovered” in the preliminary assessment on forex allocations during the previous six years under Emefiele’s leadership of the CBN.
However, there are speculations that the CBN Gov. might not accept the DSS invitation and might not go to the secret police headquarters today along with the other directors of the central bank and the CEOs of commercial banks.
Remember that on Wednesday Emefiele, acting through the Forum for Accountability and Good Leadership, a civil society organization, obtained a nocturnal new court injunction from the Federal Capital Territory High Court prohibiting the DSS from questioning and obtaining any information from CBN officials and the CEOs of the 27 commercial banks regarding Foreign Exchange allocations from 2017 to the present. First News got a copy of the court order issued by Justice SB Belgore, who presided over the proceedings and postponed the hearing on the move on notice in this case until January 25.
The embattled CBN Gov’s main motivation for hurriedly heading to court at night last Wednesday, it was learnt, was to prevent the commercial banks from disclosing information to the DSS concerning forex allocations.
But unbeknownst to him, the DSS had questioned his CBN deputies and the 27 bank CEOs about forex allocations over the previous six years and obtained documentation from them, as several of the banks had also fully complied with the DSS’ request before the Wednesday night injunction was granted by Justice Belgore.
A worried Emefiele called the bank MDs to Abuja for a “crucial meeting” last Saturday to “strategize” with them on how to handle today’s invitation from the secret police after learning that the majority of commercial banks had complied with the DSS’ request for information regarding the problem.
It was gathered that the Abuja meeting decided that the commercial banks that had yet to provide the DSS with the requested information on forex allocations should “doctor their reports.”
It was further learnt from dependable sources that the CBN officials and bank CEOs would provide more details about the decisions made about the authorisation of currency allocations to beneficiaries from 2017 to the present at the meeting with the DSS today.
The list of people and businesses who have benefited from the FX allocations so far must also be submitted.
Further information revealed that the bank CEOs are also required to give the DSS a schedule of the investors and export window foreign exchange allocated to each of their respective banks starting in 2017 up until this point.
The commercial banks are required to break down the schedule into the amount of foreign exchange allocations issued to them, indicate the name of each individual customer or beneficiary, and describe the allocation’s intended use and eligibility requirements.
Additionally, they must affirm whether the CBN or the commercial banks themselves were the authorized individuals who distributed the foreign currency and provide the DSS with their names.
The commercial banks are also required to provide a list of the top 50 clients who received the largest amounts of foreign currency, along with their relative importance, to the secret police.
Keep in mind that the DSS recently accused Emefiele of allegedly supporting terrorism and demanded that the CBN Gov be held accountable for the purported crimes.
Preliminary investigations, according to the secret police, showed Emefiele’s involvement in several acts of financing terrorism, dishonest business practices, and economic crimes with a national security component.
But the thorny CBN boss has persisted in using any strategy at his disposal to avoid being apprehended and questioned by the DSS. He recently postponed his travel overseas and subsequent return to Nigeria. It was also reported that he had enlisted the aid of a few of President Buhari’s close friends to persuade the DSS to drop the charges against him. The CBN governor is claimed to have used organized public rallies and CSO-led demonstrations as a form of propaganda in an effort to halt the DSS’s investigations into him.
Mamman Daura, a close confidant of President Buhari, and Nasir El-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna State, are alleged to be the arrowheads of the highly influential and powerful politicians who pressured the DSS DG, Yusuf Bichi, to release Emefiele, preventing the secret police from questioning the head of the top bank about the allegations made against him.