DSS seizes Emefiele’s passport, interrogates EFCC’s Bawa for allegedly selling 244 trucks for N100,000 per unit, others

By Admin

The Department of State Services (DSS) has confiscated the international passport of suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, The Punch reports.

Emefiele was arrested by the DSS on Saturday, a day after his suspension by
President Bola Tinubu.

On Friday, the embattled apex bank boss secured the order of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, which directed the Director-General of the DSS, Yusuf Bichi, to allow him access to his lawyers and family members.

He is currently undergoing interrogation at the secret police’s headquarters in Abuja for alleged terrorism financing, economic sabotage, mismanagement of forex and the naira redesign policy, among others.

Meanwhile, Emefiele’s passport has been confiscated, while his home and office may be searched by operatives during the week, sources revealed.

“The suspended CBN governor is yet to be arraigned by the service as he’s still detained and being interrogated. It’s not certain whether or not he’d be arraigned this week,” a source had told The PUNCH earlier in the week.

Another source stated, “If the service had wanted to hurriedly charged him to court, it wouldn’t have arrested him during the weekend and he would have be arraigned since Tuesday,”

Following Emefiele’s suspension last Friday as a result of the ongoing investigation of his office and the planned reforms in the financial sector, the DSS arrested him in Lagos and flew him to Abuja in a private jet last Saturday.

Afunanya had confirmed in a statement that Emefiele was taken into custody and was under investigation.

However, a source in the DSS said that it was standard procedure for his travel document to be seized pending the conclusion of the ongoing investigation.

The source added that the office and residence of the suspended apex bank governor would be searched.

“Emefiele’s travel document will be confiscated as part of the standard process pending the conclusion of our investigation. Also, as part of the investigation, his house and office will be searched for documents that can aid the ongoing investigation on his management of the CBN,” the source said.

It was earlier reported that other top directors of the CBN might also be arrested
or invited for questioning over their roles in the administration of the apex bank.

It was learnt that the DSS might revisit the criminal charges it earlier filed against Emefiele, which bordered on terrorism financing and fraud.

The secret police similarly accused Emefiele of mismanaging the CBN subsidiary, Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, and the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.

Meanwhile, indications have emerged that the suspended Chairman of the EFCC, Bawa, is being investigated by the DSS for alleged misappropriation of proceeds of assets seized by the anti-graft agency from suspects, among other issues.

It was learnt that Bawa was arrested and detained by the anti-graft agency in 2019 for allegedly selling at least 244 trucks worth between N20m and N30m each to his cronies at the cost of N100,000 per unit, hence depriving the country of about N4.8bn in potential loot recovery.

Sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, disclosed that the forfeiture proceedings of most of the trucks were yet to be concluded when Bawa allegedly disposed of them.

The source said, “In 2019, Bawa wasarrested and questioned over the sale of about 244 trucks that were seized by our Port Harcourt zonal office, where he worked then as zonal head. That case is one of the major reasons why he was suspended and is being investigated.

“He sold the trucks worth between N20m and N30m each to his proxies at N100,000 per unit, depriving the country of about N4.8bn in potential loot recovery.

“This prompted the former EFCC Secretary, Ola Olukoyede, to confront the EFCC boss in 2019, as he was said to have received complaints that Bawa was tampering with assets undergoing forfeiture proceedings.

“But when Bawa was queried about what happened to the trucks, he claimed that he was acting on the instructions of the former Chairman, Magu, but he never wrote that in his statement.”

Another source privy to the matter revealed that the allegation by former governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, of a demand for $2m bribe by Bawa was one of the reasons for the ongoing investigation against him.

The source also noted that the suspended EFCC chairman allegedly collaborated with the suspended CBN governor, Emefiele, to carry out fraudulent deals with Bureau De Change operators.

Last month, Matawalle accused Bawa of demanding a $2m bribe from him.

Matawale made the allegation during an interview with BBC Hausa amid ongoing rift between the governor and the anti-graft agency.

Read Also:Dangote, Bill Gates to meet Tinubu on Monday, see why…

The source said, “You’re very much aware that Matawale also accused the chairman
of demanding a $2m bribe from him. That’s also part of the allegations levelled against him that led to his suspension.

“Also, there’s an allegation that Bawa collaborated with the suspended CBN governor, Emefiele, in some fraudulent dealings with Bureau De Change operators.”


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