CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele’s Main Men Exposed
The governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, lives in a goldfish bowl. As much as he tries to act like he is really in charge at the CBN, the more obvious it is that he is merely a pawn in a high-power game involving Nigeria’s mercantile power brokers. And if he thought he would be better off under President Muhammadu Buhari administration, reality must have set in now that those who called the shots under the previous administration were greenhorns compared to those in the corridors of power today.
The current power-brokers understand military, political and economic powers and never dither to wield it to achieve their own ends. Just like the days of old, Emefiele now answers to more bosses than he ever envisioned. Emefiele is said to be servile and diffident, but it has been revealed to be a smokescreen that serves his purpose well.
Behind that facade of meekness and self-effacement is a man who has mastered the art of remaining under the radar while his trusted lieutenants run the show on his behalf but without any link to him except for those who are very discerning and have their ears to the ground. But the veil is off and those in the know have uncovered the men who Emefiele has been using as his own cabal. One of them is Abass Umar, the current Managing Director of the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company, NSPMC. They are both said to have met during their younger days as bankers. Umar was also with the CBN before Emefiele got him the NSPMC job for obvious reasons.
Another of Emefiele’s trusted friend and lieutenant is Eric Odoh-Ochoeme, the one said to be in charge of liaisons with politicians and businessmen on his behalf. His job is to wet the ground where necessary and close deals with the political class. Also on the list is Wilson Ndubuise-Udeh who is so well trusted that he is currently fronting for the CBN Governor in 9mobile, one of the GSM licensed operators in Nigeria where he is said to have very serious investment in the telecoms company. Abdullah Yola and one Ukeje are the men who run the show for the CBN Governor on the Forex front. Major transactions are directed their way by him and it is their duty to tidy such and report back to him appropriately. So also is Isa Funtua who is like a godfather to Godwin.
Though a well-rounded financial whizz who rose to become Group Managing Director at Zenith Bank, Emefiele is said to be servile and diffident, vices that have turned him into a yo-yo in the current administration. It would be recalled that Emefiele was persistently ridiculed as a pawn in the grand designs of former President Goodluck Jonathan and his cronies to milk Nigeria for all she’s worth in their bid to hold tenaciously to power.
The Delta-born apex banker was allegedly used by the former administration to turn the CBN into a conduit pipe for funding the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led government and subsequent presidential election. There were reports of an extra-budgetary disbursement of N40 billion to the office of the national security adviser and N20 billion to the Department of State Services (DSS) by the CBN.
Findings revealed that the monies were released in dollar currency contrary to money laundering regulations and directly, too, from the dollar reserve vaults of the CBN. Security reports revealed that in August 2014, Emefiele called a board meeting to request for approval of N60 billion to support the security services under a “special security intervention fund” he intended to create.
As the chairman of the board, Emefiele allegedly told the members that the money was needed to equip the military to fight and crush the Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east. This was shortly after he reportedly secured approval from President Jonathan to disburse the funds. Sambo Dasuki, a retired colonel and then NSA, had twice requested for N60 billion in documents and was only successful at third attempt following Jonathan’s intervention. In the new documents, the former NSA regularly wrote to Emefiele asking him to disburse the approved money in hard currency equivalent, usually in tranches of N10 billion.
In February 2015, after the presidential elections were controversially postponed to bolster the former government’s alleged bid to crush Boko Haram before the elections, the CBN allegedly disbursed about $300 million on the instructions of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).
Economic crimes investigators are currently working with the theory that the money was used to fund PDP’s campaign in the presidential election which it eventually lost to the APC and in all these sordid transactions, Emefiele’s name keeps popping up in unworthy instances.
About four years after the PDP government left office, Emefiele is still dancing to every drumbeat from the presidency and everywhere else with a link to power.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, runs a close-knit yet powerful cabal of his own and has been able to avoid any form of scrutiny due to his well-orchestrated outlook of a man that isn’t interested in anything but getting his job done and minding his business. Now, the world knows better what businesses he has been minding.
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