Emefiele has been suspend as CBN Governor by Tinubu

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Emefiele has been directed to immediately hand over the affairs of his office to a Deputy Governor.


President Bola Tinubu has taken the decision to suspend Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank, with immediate effect. This announcement was made on Friday night through a statement issued by Willie Bassey, the Director of Information at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

According to the statement, the suspension of the CBN Governor is a result of an ongoing investigation into his office and the planned reforms in the financial sector of the economy. As a consequence, Mr. Emefiele has been instructed to hand over the responsibilities of his position to the Deputy Governor (Operations Directorate). The Deputy Governor will assume the role of Acting Central Bank Governor until the investigation and reforms are concluded.

It’s worth noting that Godwin Emefiele became the CBN Governor in 2014, succeeding Lamido Sanusi. Sanusi’s suspension from office, which occurred a few months before the end of his tenure, was also mired in controversy during President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

Before assuming his role as the Governor of the Central Bank, Mr. Emefiele held the position of Group Managing Director at Zenith Bank Plc.

Since taking office in 2014, the suspended CBN Governor has faced criticism from Nigerians regarding his management of the economy, his involvement in politics, and the controversial policies implemented by the central bank.

One of the key concerns during his tenure has been the significant depreciation of the Nigerian currency, the naira. Presently, the naira is trading at over N750 per dollar in the parallel market and at N469.50 per dollar on the spot market as of Thursday. These rates represent the lowest levels the naira has ever reached on the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window.

Furthermore, under Mr. Emefiele’s leadership, the central bank has encountered difficulties in addressing the nation’s inflation rate. According to the nation’s statistics bureau, the inflation rate stood at 22.2 percent in May, reflecting the ongoing challenges in this area.


Mr. Emefiele faced a series of challenges and controversies during his tenure. One notable ordeal occurred last year when the State Security Service (SSS) made allegations of Mr. Emefiele’s involvement in financing terrorism and other fraudulent activities. In December, the SSS secretly sought a court order to arrest him on these charges, along with economic crimes of national security significance. However, the Federal High Court in Abuja rejected the request as the SSS failed to provide sufficient evidence to justify issuing an arrest warrant against Mr. Emefiele.

Additionally, Mr. Emefiele drew criticism for his controversial involvement in partisan politics. He was associated with a bid for the presidential ticket of the ruling All Progressive Congress, although he tried to deny his participation in partisan politics. Support groups even called for him to become the flagbearer of the ruling party. This unprecedented involvement in politics led to widespread condemnation, raising concerns among experts about the governor’s impartiality and the autonomy of the Central Bank.


In the last quarter of 2022, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced a policy to redesign the naira, the country’s currency. However, this policy faced significant criticism due to the uncertainty it created and the widespread chaos it triggered across Nigeria.

The implementation of the naira redesign policy resulted in nationwide chaos, leading to frustrated Nigerians staging protests and experiencing difficulties with banking operations.

During the election campaign period, Mr. Tinubu, who was a candidate for the All Progressive Congress (APC), claimed that certain CBN policies, such as the restriction on cash withdrawals to N20,000 per day and N100,000 per week, were deliberately intended to hinder his chances of winning the presidential election.

More recently, the nation’s statistics bureau disclosed that Nigeria’s economy experienced a slowdown in the first quarter of the year, largely due to cash scarcity induced by the CBN’s naira redesign policy.

Call for arrest, prosecution

Meanwhile, amid the melee, prominent Nigerians and leading figures in the civil society called for Mr Emefiele’s arrest and prosecution.

Im March, Nigeria’s leading investigative medium, PREMIUM TIMES, also called for the arrest and prosecution of the central bank governor.

In an editorial, the news outlet reiterated its stand, frowning at the anti-people cash policies imposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the watch of Mr Emefiele.

The editorial also criticised the CBN for failing to adhere to the ruling of the Supreme Court on the old naira notes. It noted that the cash withdrawal limit imposed by the central bank is an infringement on the rights of the people.

“And most have had to live with a frightening range of infringements since the banknotes swap policy came into effect,” the newspaper stated in the editorial.

“These have ranged from the economic (loss of earnings platforms across the economy’s informal sector), through the emotional (having to beg for cash from friends, family, neighbours and strangers to meet basic needs) to the conceptual (just struggling to make sense of the policy’s design, implementation and expected outcomes).”

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