The controversy surrounding the leadership of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) appears to be waning as there are reports that the suspended Governor of the apex bank, Godwin Emefiele, had resigned from his position last month paving the way for Olayemi Cardoso’s appointment.
President Bola Tinubu had last Friday nominated Cardoso, who was a former Chairman of Citibank Nigeria, as the new Governor of the CBN, alongside 4 others who were also nominated as Deputy Governors.
The appointment has raised a lot of dust among stakeholders and Nigerians who questioned the legality of the appointments as there had been no report of the resignation of Emefiele, who is currently facing corruption charges, or his removal which requires the consent of two-third of the senate.
According to Reuters, some government sources said that Godwin Emefiele, who was suspended by President Tinubu in June and has been under the custody of the Department of State Security (DSS) resigned last month, effectively clearing the way for his replacement.
Although there is yet to be an official confirmation of the development from the CBN or the presidency, however, the reported resignation of Emefiele appears to have laid to rest the legal concerns over the nomination of Yemi Cardoso as the new Governor of the CBN.
What you should know
- Recall that on Friday, September 15, 2023, President Tinubu approved the nomination of Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso to serve as the new Governor of the CBN for a term of five (5) years at the first instance, pending his confirmation by the Nigerian Senate.
- The directive is in conformity with Section 8 (1) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007, which vests in the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the authority to appoint the Governor and Four (4) Deputy Governors for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), subject to confirmation by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
- Furthermore, President Bola Tinubu has approved the nomination of 4 new Deputy Governors of the CBN for a term of five (5) years at the first instance, pending their confirmation by the Nigerian Senate. They are Mrs. Emem Nnana Usoro, Mr. Muhammad Sani Abdullahi Dattijo, Mr. Philip Ikeazor and Dr. Bala M. Bello.
- Also, President Tinubu had on Friday, June 9, 2023, suspended the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, with immediate effect, following an ongoing investigation of his office and planned reforms in the financial sector of the economy.
- The DSS on June 10, 2023, confirmed that Emefiele is now in its custody and urged the public, particularly the media, to apply utmost caution in the reportage and narratives concerning the development.
- Emefiele had on June 20, sued the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Director General of the DSS, seeking enforcement of his fundamental human rights to freedom of movement and dignity to human life.
- In the suit, the suspended CBN Governor, through his counsel, Joesph Daudu, stated that his arrest and detention since June 10 without valid order of court be voided and set aside.
- The Federal Government had in July charged Emefiele to court on charges bordering on illegal firearms possession.
- The two-count charge was later struck out on August 17 after the federal government withdrew.
- However, a fresh 20-count charge was instituted against him over an alleged conspiracy to carry out procurement fraud, among others.
- The arraignment has been stalled twice and with reports suggesting that there has been a proposal for plea bargain agreement for the embattled suspended CBN Governor.