A group, National Coalition for Security and Anti-Terrorism (NACOFSA) has called on the international community to place the embattled Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele on its watchlist following suspicion that he is seeking asylum in the United Kingdom as part of a ploy to run away from an ongoing investigation.
The Department of State Services (DSS) recently accused Emefiele of financing terrorism but an Abuja High Court restrained the secret police from arresting, detaining or questioning him.
The group has however called on the international community to as a matter of urgency and importance place Emefiele on the Global Terrorism Watchlist as the allegations levelled against him are too weighty to be swept under the carpet.
In a statement signed by the group’s National Convener, Peter Katuka, National Organizing Secretary, Ikenye Chukwuka and other leaders, Isaiah Uba Makoshi and Aondo Ali as co-conveners, obtained by SaharaReporters, stressed that it was more saddening since the CBN governor has failed to offer any explanation to the allegation.
It said that instead, Emefiele ‘chose to play to the gallery, hiring groups to demonstrate solidarity for him on the streets of Abuja’.
It said, “The allegations of terrorism financing by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Dr. Godwin Emefiele, left us with a shock like every other Nigerian when it hit the stable of public opinion in December 2022.
“More worrisome is the fact that no deliberate answers and explanations have been offered by the accused, rather different groups and organizations have offered themselves as willing tools to play to the gallery of political endorsement and unnecessary solidarity with the accused, Emefiele.
“The alleged offences being investigated revolve around terrorism which falls under the purview of offences categorized as capital offences in Section 66 of the Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Act, 2022 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“And if we are referring to deals where it is alleged that somebody highly placed as the Central Bank of Nigeria is funding or has a link to enemies of Nigeria. Nigeria should come first irrespective of whoever is involved. So in this regard, the law is no respecter of persons and shouldn’t be a respecter of persons and as concerned citizens of Nigeria, we will not be calm.
“We cannot, as a group, sit and watch the DSS, which has been a frontline security intelligence proprietor in this country to be arm twisted from carrying out its responsibilities, by elements who are riding on the instrumentality of government in one way or the other.
“There is still an avenue to ventilate their view, which is the global scene. It is in this vein that we have perfected arrangement to carry out a protest on the 18th of January in Central London, United Kingdom, to call on the international community to beam its searchlight on Dr. Godwin Emefiele and all who may be indicted in these allegations and put them on the global terrorism watch list.
“Nigeria belongs to all of us. We cannot turn a blind eye to allegations of this magnitude. We all agree that the country is not as safe as we want it to be and if a renowned security apparatus of the government fingers anyone as being behind the palpable unrest in the country, it is only proper that it should be given requisite attention.
“Meanwhile, we must remember that this is a case that is ongoing and there is a presumption of innocence, and nobody has been condemned or found guilty. Only the guilty are afraid.
“If Emefiele has no skeleton in his cupboard, why would he stop an organisation saddled with the responsibility of maintaining internal security from carrying out its duties? This we deem a calculated attempt to put a clog in the wheel of progress in terms of the security of Nigeria. And as far as we are concerned, security is key.”
“We also want to call on President Muhammadu Buhari, to make a bold statement on the issue on the ground as Nigerians and the international community are watching and taking notes of the development as it unveils further,” the group added.