(Press Release) As the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr. Godwin Emefiele keeps Nigerians confused regarding his 2023 Presidential bid, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has responded to a petition filed against him by the Human & Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) last month.
Recall that so many presidential aspirants who have picked nomination forms for the 2023 general elections were either implored or pressurized to run by some emergency interest groups. One of such Presidential hopefuls is the governor of CBN, while his trumpeter is the Green Alliance Movement.
So many believed that the Green Alliance was constituting nuisance and distracting the CBN boss from doing his job, even though he has performed below average since he assumed that lofty position.
Unfortunately, Section 9 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act barred the CBN governor and his deputies from engaging in Politics and other businesses, unless such person resigns, but contrary to public expectations, the governor of the apex bank refused to resign and pursue politics neither did he disassociate himself from those heralding his coming, even after series of petitions compelling him to do the honourable thing.
The section reads thus: “The Governor and the Deputy Governors shall devote the whole of their time to the service of the Bank and while holding office shall not engage in any full or part time employment or vocation whether remunerated or not except such personal or charitable causes as may be determined by the Board and which do not conflict with or detract from their full time duties.”
As event unfolded, HEDA petitioned the ICPC to take swift action to prevent the breach of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act by the Governor, by promptly and diligently investigating the motive and sponsors of The Green Alliance Movement and if any foul play was uncovered, such culprits should be prosecuted accordingly.
In a response signed by the Petition Registrar, H.S Folaranmi, on behalf of the chairman of the Commission- Bolaji Owasanoye, to HEDA, ICPC acknowledged HEDA’s Petition and averred to act accordingly.
The chairman of HEDA, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, confirmed that its petition among others must have prompted Emefiele to come up with its latest statement on his tweeter handle thus, “This is a serious decision that requires God’s Divine intervention, in the next few days The Almighty will so direct.”
HEDA’s boss maintained that Emefiele had been involved in politics and a member of APC contrary to the law. “By telling Nigerians that within the week, he would let Nigerians know his stand (to run or not) after hearing from God, It then means he’s been involved in politics and member of APC, contrary to the law,” Suraju asserted.
He reminded Emefiele that failure to publicly state his position on the 2023 general election would not only be precarious to Nigeria’s current fragile economy but inimical to the country’s financial integrity, saying that the current state of the economy requires all actors to stay focused on the task of repositioning Nigeria on a trajectory of prosperity.
“Going by our mandate as a leading Anti-corruption organization in Nigeria, we expect every political aspirants to play by the rules, but they must remember that good governance remains the hallmark of democracy,” he added.
Meanwhile, governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, while reacting to the presidential bid of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, charged him to resign or face sack by Nigeria’s president.
Akeredolu said, “This act, if unchecked, timeously, portends great danger to the fragile economy of the country.
“This latest news confirms that the Governor may indeed be interested in immersing himself in the murky waters of politics like any other Nigerian with partisan interests.
“It is incontrovertible that Mr Emefiele enjoys a constitutionally protected right to belong to any group or association and participate fully, just as any Nigerian.
“It is, however, difficult to imagine that a person who occupies the exalted and sensitive office of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria will be this brazen in actualising his ambition. There is no gain asserting the obvious.
“The combined effect of the Public Service Rules, CBN Act and the 1999 Constitution, as amended, exposes not only the oddity inherent in this brash exercise of presumed right to associate.
“It also confirms the illegality of the act should he proceed to submit the forms while occupying the seat as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.”
“Consequently, we admonish Mr Emefiele to leave the office, immediately, for him to pursue his interest. He cannot combine partisan politics with the very delicate assignment of his office. Should he refuse to quit, it becomes incumbent on the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to remove him forthwith. This is a joke taken too far.”