National Convener, Coalition of National Civil Society Organisations (CNCSOs), Chief Willy Ezugwu, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami to immediately investigate those calling for a reversal of the cash withdrawal limit policy, initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to engender public transparency in the system.
He said that the allegation that the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele was financing terrorism by the Department of State Service and other acts against Nigeria was curious and must be unravelled by the instrument of the state.
Ezugwu in press conference he addressed with National Secretary of the Coalition of National Civil Society Organisations (CNCSOs), Alhaji Ali Abacha in Abuja, said the call on the President and the chief law officer was in tandem with the Nigerian constitution, empowering them to protect the national interest rather than pander to desperate interests against the Nigerian State which they swore to defend in their oath of office.
According to him, the manner of the allegation and its timing was suspect and the President must Act as always in the interest of Nigeria.
He pointed out that the move was to remove Godwin Emiefele to pave the way for a new Central Bank Governor who would reverse the policy.
Citing the 1999 constitution as amended, he said: we join well-meaning Nigerians and groups to the call on President Buhari and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to immediately put in motion the processes of suspending and thoroughly investigating the circumstances surrounding this national and international embarrassment.
“The attempt to obtain a backyard order to remove a high-ranking officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for obvious political reasons should be of serious concern to all Nigerians as we don’t know who will be the next.
“By virtue of Section 150(1) and Section 174 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, the Attorney-General of the Federation has the powers to institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court of law in Nigeria.
“Therefore, nothing stops the Attorney-General of the Federation from exercising his powers in this matter to send a clear signal to the international community that Nigeria is not a banana republic, where anything goes.
“If public office holders who err are not appropriately sanctioned, it will send a wrong signal to foreign investors and project Nigeria as a country without rule of law.”
The CSO argued that the policy does not limit cash transfers of any amount but was aimed at promoting financial transparency in all dealings, hence those who are against it must be doing so because they want to cover criminal tracks.
“We have all hailed the cashless policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria such that even the corrupt politicians who are opposing the cash withdrawal limits acknowledge that it is the way to go but that the timing was wrong.
“They also sought to get waivers for election spending. Why are they looking for wavers? They want to use our stolen commonwealth to buy our votes.
“In view of the current revelation, we are afraid that the State Security Service is derailing from its statutory role to becoming a tool in the hands of desperate politicians.
“This is dangerous for the country and must be discouraged at any cost.
“Those who want to receive and spend money without any traces are those who have been kicking against the cashless policy of the CBN.
“If you have legitimate money, why are you afraid to wire the money through bank transfers? Why are you afraid of cash withdrawal limits? There is no limit to the amount you can transfer through the bank but because they are having our stolen money, they don’t want to make traceable transactions and that is the sin of Godwin Emefiele.
“That’s why they want him out of the way before the election so that someone who can do their biddings is appointed to reverse the cashless policy implementation.” the coalition stated.
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