The intervention of one of the Service Chiefs yesterday saved Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) Mr. Godwin Emefiele, from arrest upon return to Nigeria from his annual vacation abroad, Daily Sun report.

This is coming at a time the Directorate of State Services (DSS) denied ever storming the CBN headquarters to arrest Emefiele, with the apex bank spokesman saying he had resumed duty.

Since Emefiele travelled overseas for his leave, there had been confusion and anxiety, triggered by the DSS’ attempt to get a court warrant to arrest him on allegation of terrorism financing.

According to the sun newspaper it was gathered that the Service Chief had got an approval for the jet that brought Emefiele back to the country to land at the private wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, where military men had been positioned.

The presence of the military men had prevented any move by the DSS to attempt arresting the CBN governor.

Sources revealed, however, that some top officials at the DSS had given the resignation of Emefiele as condition for him to be let off their hook and end the controversy, with pressures mounting for his sack.

Godwin Emefiele, governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who has been accused of funding terrorism, will be allowed safe entry into the country this week but it could be so he can be made to resign after being confronted with evidence of the allegations against him, BusinessDay has learnt.

Emefiele was part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s entourage to the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington in December 2022, but Buhari returned to Abuja a day after the summit. The CBN governor delayed his return to Nigeria after it emerged that the Department of State Services (DSS) had applied to a court for permission to arrest and keep him for a prolonged period.

A very well-connected government source told BusinessDay at the weekend: “I believe there is a deal that will allow the governor to return this week without arrest, but he will be presented with evidence of the allegations against him, and thereafter it is expected he will resign.”

For senior government officials, Emefiele’s case divides opinion sharply. Our reporters gathered that there are clearly those in government and security who want Emefiele held on arrival and prosecuted, but a soft landing may now be presented to the once-powerful governor of the apex bank.

If and when Emefiele resigns, the way will be cleared for the appointment of a replacement, and already some high up in government say it will be inappropriate for the government to name a substantive CBN governor with only four months left in the life of the administration.

“A responsible government will go ahead to clean up the mess and appoint an acting governor, given that the government has only four months in power,” a source told BusinessDay.

Emefiele, who has been governor since 2014, is the first person to serve two terms as the head of Nigeria’s apex bank in nearly 20 years. He was first appointed by then-President Goodluck Jonathan in June 2014, after Sarah Alade served out the term of the Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.

Almost a month ago, there were reports in the local media that the DSS had filed an application with reference number FHC/Abj/CS/2255/2022 and in which it sought permission from the Federal High Court in Abuja to arrest and detain Emefiele.

The secret police said its preliminary investigation revealed various acts of terrorism financing and fraudulent activities perpetrated by Emefiele. It also accused him of being involved in economic crimes of national security dimension.

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