By Bala Ibrahim
When the history of PMB’s tenure and performance is going to be written, a big portion would be devoted to the service times of Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank, CBN, starting from how he inherited him, to how he planned to succeed him, with ample emphasis on the numerous embarrassments he brought to the government, and the personality of the President.
Indeed the president would find it hard to absolve himself or explain his innocence to the public. This is because, despite acknowledging and alerting the nation about the monetary irregularities committed by his predecessor, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, mostly on the advice of Emefiele as the Governor of the CBN, PMB not only retained him but was quick to renew his tenure for another term.
The President’s action implies that Emefiele had done so well, as such, one good term deserves another. Many, including yours truly, were taken aback by that action. That was the first embarrassment to the credibility of the President.
Thereafter, many more infractions were carried out at the CBN by Emefiele. Whether the President knows or doesn’t know, the names of his close allies are constantly mentioned, including a famous one that is now late.
The shameful and shambolic style employed by Emefiele, to join the APC at night and metamorphose into a presidential candidate in the day, is another hoax Nigeria and Nigerians would love not to witness again.
After many denials, regarding his speculated ambition to contest for the Presidency, reports arrived that three interest groups had purchased the N100 million Nomination and Expression of Interest forms for him. As expected, he pretended not to accept the offer, saying he is yet to receive the go-ahead from God. This is not only embarrassing, but an insult to the sensibilities of Nigerians, and a slap to the credibility of PMB.
Although there are many things Emefiele had done and is probably doing, that would surely bring the reputation of PMB into disrepute, including the brazen bastardization of the employment process at the CBN, where the strength of surnames, instate of academic qualifications, are used as the yardstick for engagement, his boldness in testing the efficacy of the law, by asking the court to declare him as eligible to run for presidency without resigning, maybe the biggest slap on the President.
Except there is an arrangement to ridicule the law and set embarrassing precedence, PMB must save his name by using the big stick on Emefiele with immediate effect.
In the opinion of Na-Allah Mohammed Zagga, this particular action of Emefiele is akin to an incredible effrontery, and I quote:
“CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele has demonstrated not only shown disregard for our laws, but he also has shown his utter contempt for public opinion. Worse still, his attempt to insult our intelligence is annoying. After distancing himself from the so-called friends who bought him the N100 million APC nomination form, Emefiele proceeded to the court to restrain INEC and AGF from disqualifying him. Well, the court has thrown out his frivolous request. Is he a registered card-carrying member of the APC? How can the CBN Governor pursue a presidential ambition to the extent of purchasing a nomination form and refuse to resign at the same time? Governor Akeredolu of Ondo State has even asked President Buhari to fire the CBN Governor for his brazen disregard for our laws. Does the body language of the President suggest to Emefiele that he is above the law? What is feeding Emefiele’s audacity and his arrogant sense of Untouchability? His effrontery has reduced our laws to a joke. It takes a feeling of indispensability to treat our laws with such utter contempt. The term “cabal” doesn’t exist in our constitution. So, nobody however connected, is above the law”.
Na-Allah Mohammed Zagga and Akeredolu are not the only learned persons feeling disgusted by Emefiele’s intransigent attitude, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, also has similar revulsion, as expressed in his reaction to the suit filed by Emefiele in court:
“By the decision of the Supreme Court in Akinlade v INEC, there is no competent suit filed by Mr. Emefiele pending before the court for adjudication. The affidavit in support of the Originating Summons and indeed the Affidavit of urgency were both deposed to by counsel on his behalf, in flagrant violation of Rule 20 of RPC. An Originating Summons cannot be determined in the Federal High Court without a competent affidavit in support thereof. By his status, Emefiele is an employee of the CBN. Any case to determine his status or eligibility should be filed at the National Industrial Court. So long as Emefiele earns a salary as a CBN employee, he should not dream of contesting the election while still holding on to his office. It is an insult to our collective psyche as a people. I urge the Nigerian Bar Association, Election Situation Room, SERAP, and other civil society organizations to apply to the court to join EMEFIELE’S case and put an end to this joke”.
It may be recalled that while hosting some supreme court Justices for the Ramadan breakfast at the Villa last month, PMB said one thing he doesn’t want to do after handing over next year is, to be invited before the courts to account for some misdeeds.
With the volume of embarrassing entanglements by Emefiele, unless the President is quick to act, and act decisively, that ambition may only be achieved in the reverse.
And that may vindicate the former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki and other critics, that the President is poor at oversight.