A coalition of civil society organisations yesterday rendered an unreserved apology to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, over calls for his visa ban over the alleged missing of N89 trillion stamp duty.
They also apologised over a call to declare the CBN governor a persona non grata and that he should be arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS), amongst others.
The leaders of the coalition, Mohammed Ibrahim of Northern Leaders Coalition; Gbenga Ganzallo of League of Professionals for Good Governance and Accountability; and Chief Sampam of Transparency Africa, while reading the apology letter during a press conference in Abuja, noted that the allegations against him were false and untrue of his person and office.
The coalition stressed that the apology was premised on superior arguments made available to them concerning activities and interventions of the CBN under the leadership of Emefiele.
It noted that having weighed the details of what was made available to the CSOs against the CBN governor, they realised that they were acting on wrong information.
It stated: “We hereby tender our unreserved apology to the CBN governor for getting involved wrongfully and joining forces to call for his arrest and removal from office. This action we sincerely regret and apologise.
“We hereby declare our unalloyed support for Emefiele and his numerous policies that are approved by President Buhari. Again, call on all detractors to stop propagating falsehood and blackmail against the CBN Governor and to allow him to focus on his core mandate which is monetary policy with an immense value.”
The coalition called on the DSS to allow the CBN governor to perform his constitutional duties as well as respect court orders concerning the issue and halt intimidating him.
“Also, we urge our political class to allow our public officers to work and not to be distracted in any form. We respectfully urge the DSS to shield their sword and work with the CBN Governor to eradicate illicit financial flows in the country with great efficiency.
“We need peace in our polity as we approach the 2023 general elections. All political class is hereby warned to desist from fake news and blackmail as a way to ensure free, fair, and credible elections come 2023.
“We frown at behavioural tendencies that would destabilise our democracy. Again, we make bold to say that we want peace and nothing but peace.”
Meanwhile, the President of the Middle Belt Youth Vanguard (MBYV), Mr. Godwin Meliga, has been allegedly arrested by men of the DSS.
The Publicity Secretary of the Middle Belt Youth Vanguard, Mr. Abbah Owoicho, disclosed the development in a statement made available to THISDAY in Abuja, yesterday.
Owoicho said the MBYV was part of the coalition of civil society organisations which exposed the alleged plot by the DSS to frame the CBN Governor for terrorism financing and economic crimes.
The Publicity Secretary said Owoicho, spoke extensively at the World Press Conference organised by a coalition of civil society organisations penultimate week, in Abuja, the nation’s capital, had condemned the alleged plot by the DSS.
Part of the statement read: “Mrs J. Meliga, the wife of our President has confirmed his arrest. She said the men from the DSS headquarters stormed his residence in Gwarimpa at about midnight on Saturday, suppressed the security guards, broke down the protector and barged into his house and assaulted him severely before taking him away in handcuffs.
“He was said to be wearing only his boxers and singlet as of the time of the arrest. The wife further disclosed that the men of the Service had been on his trail as they had earlier arrested one Samson Babalola last Thursday, who was said to be driving Mr. Meliga’s car.
“The wife further confirmed that family contacts within the Service have confirmed to them that he was arrested for causing the Service untold embarrassment through the exposure of the plot to frame the CBN Governor.
“Sources at the DSS headquarters told the family that the DG felt utterly humiliated by the press conference of the Coalition of National Interest Defenders which exposed the plot and that all members of the leadership of the coalition will be arrested for causing the DG such embarrassment.
“The wife, who has been weeping since the attack on her husband has informed us that Comrade Meliga has routine drugs he takes religiously and this unwarranted arrest would put his life in grave danger.
“Since the news of the arrest hit town, there has been outrage and all members of the National Executive Committee have been summoned to Abuja on Monday for emergency meeting to seek ways of securing his immediate release.” (ThisDay)