By Sodiq Omolaoye (Abuja) and Abdulganiyu Alabi (Kaduna)
Concerned Northern Forum (CNF) has called on the Department of State Services (DSS) to appeal the High Court ruling restraining the agency from arresting Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele.
But other groups from the North and Middle Belt have decried Emefiele’s ordeals, saying it is a wrong way to reward a hard-working public servant.
According to the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) and Middle Belt Youths (MBY), the interventions of CBN under Emefiele in several sectors saved the Nigerian economy in the last six years.
Spokesperson of CNF, Mohammed Abdulsalam, during a press briefing in Kaduna State, yesterday, noted that Emefiele is not above the law and as such the state security should be allowed to do their job.
A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Garki, on Thursday, issued an order restraining the State Security Service (SSS) and its agents from arresting, detaining or restricting the movement of the CBN governor over alleged links with terrorism.
The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, John Tsoho, ruled that the SSS failed to provide sufficient evidence to warrant the issuance of an arrest warrant against Emefiele.
Justice M. A. Hassan, who issued the order while ruling on a suit filed by the Incorporated Trustees of Forum for Accountability and Good Leadership (ITFAGL), said the SSS “acted wrongfully and illegally in instigating the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria against Emefile in respect of the exercise of his statutory duty relating to the issuance of monetary policies and directives in the interest of the national security and economy”.
Abdulsalam, while calling on the CBN boss to step aside on the ground that his character was already in question, said the DSS, over time, had done a good job, especially in the area of intelligence gathering, and that the case of the apex bank should not be an exception.
He added that Emefiele spending N58.6 billion to print N2.5 billion notes at a time Nigeria was having financial crisis, including spiralling inflation and unemployment alone, is ridiculous, adding that the earlier the CBN boss is made to face the law and answer to the allegations, the better.
He said: “Sequel to the above, we, therefore, resolved that the DSS should ignore and immediately appeal the Federal High Court’s injunction and go ahead with the planned arrest of Emefele since it’s in the interest of national security.
“As patriots, who wish to always stand on the path of righteousness, we won’t take sides with those calling for the sack of the DSS boss. We rather ask that he should be allowed to carry out his duties without interference by anybody, especially when it comes to the issue of national security and the general well being of Nigerians. Those asking the DG to give details of Emefiele’s underhand dealings should know that security is a tactical issues and evidence can’t be made public, so that criminals won’t be alerted and made to destroy evidence.”
AYCF and MBY made their position known in separate statements, yesterday, in Abuja.
In a statement signed by Kabiru Yusuf, AYCF, while describing the Abuja High Court judgment as victory for democracy and rule of law, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Director-General of the DSS, Yusuf Bichi, over failed plot to frame Emefiele for terrorism.
According to the group, the DSS should be ashamed of trying to arrest Emefiele over policies aimed at fighting banditry and kidnapping for ransom, vote buying, controlling the amount of money in circulation and addressing issues of corruption as well as hoarding of naira notes by individuals.
It also said the act by the DSS operatives, who are employed to protect the citizens, is terrible, unforgivable; hence the DG should be sacked immediately.
Leader of the Middle Belt group, Godwin Meliga, said the apex bank governor’s interventions revolutionised the North, especially the agriculture sector.
Source: The Guardian