Protests in Abuja over secret lawsuit against CBN Governor by DSS

There are reports of a large protest of more than 200 people storming a Federal High Court in Abuja following a lawsuit secretly filed by the Department of State Services (DSS), accusing the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, of financing of terrorism and other crimes.

According to Punch, groups that took part in the protest included Buhari Legacy Defenders, Arewa Youth Consultative Movement, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Movement, African Center for Justice and Human Rights, Ethnic Youth Leaders, Forum of Political Party Chairmen and Lawyers in Defense of Economic Rights and Justice.

DSS plans to remove Emefiele for political reasons

The report says that the demonstrators marched to the Federal Attorney General’s Office where they presented a petition against the actions of the DSS.

Calling the alleged DSS action a rare occurrence in the country’s history, the group demanded the immediate dismissal of DSS Director General Yusuf Bichi to prevent him from setting the country on fire.

They also sent similar letters to the office of the President, Secretary of the Government of the Federation, Inspector General of Police, among others.

The protesters, who carried banners with various inscriptions, also alleged that the DSS embarked on the plot to remove the CBN governor for political and pecuniary reasons.

CBN Governor Indicted for Terrorist Financing

The leader of the protesters, Tochukwu Ohazuruike, who had earlier addressed a press conference, alleged that the Director General of the DSS and his allies in the plot had already promised someone else the Governorship of CBN in the agreement that the cash withdrawal limit policy would be discontinued immediately.

The protesters also claimed that the plot to label Emefiele a terrorist was to undermine the president, usurp his powers to hire and fire, and remove Emefiele from office on the grounds that they would obtain a warrant for his detention for at least 60 days to impose another . person as governor of the Central Bank.

For the record

CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele had come under intense pressure from different interest groups and politicians over the main bank’s revised cash-out limits for individuals and corporate organisations.

There have been claims that the policy is targeted at politicians, especially leading up to the 2023 general election, a claim that CBN has denied.

In addition, there were reports that the CBN Governor was accused by a member of the dissolved Presidential Stamp Duty Reconciliation and Recovery Committee of allegedly diverting the sum of N89 billion from the stamp duty fund to private accounts.

The DSS had approached the Abuja Federal High Court in the secret lawsuit under S66 of the Prevention and Prohibition of Terrorism Act, 2022 to demand that the court order Emefiele’s detention for 60 days in the first instance.

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