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Emefiele must not be made a scapegoat, Tunde Bakare tells Tinubu

Popular cleric, Pastor Tunde Bakare says that even though the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, may have made wrong judgement in the management of Nigeria’s monetary policy, he must not be made a scapegoat by the Federal Government.

He said that considering the provisions of the CBN Act 2007, there is every possibility that the erstwhile CBN governor did not act without presidential authorization.

Bakare stated this during a state of the nation address where he made remarks on recent happenings in the country on Sunday.

While the cleric maintained that Emefiele should be prosecuted if found guilty of any crime, he noted that events before the 2023 presidential election points to the direction of political vendetta against the suspended CBN governor by President Bola Tinubu.

“Mr Godwin Emefiele may have made the wrong judgement calls in the management of Nigeria’s monetary policy, but he must not be made a scapegoat.

“In the provisions of the central bank of Nigeria, CBN Act 2007, there is every possibility that the erstwhile central bank governor did not act without presidential authorization.

“If Emefiele is found liable for any crime, by all means he should be prosecuted. However, considering the dynamics of the preelection environment and the then candidate Bola Tinubu’s public allegation that the naira redesign policy was targeted at him, the optics of the president targeting Emefiele for prosecution after winning the election and being sworn in as the president could be interpreted as a form of vendetta far beneath such a distinguished office,” Bakare said.

Bakare also berated the Department of State Services (DSS) for their role in Emefiele’s arrest and detention, saying that their actions of the DSS have raised concerns over professionalism and adherence to the rule of law.

“Considering the claims of the DSS that its actions were in reaction to order from above, handling of Emefiele case has sent a signal to the world that the current president disposition to the war against corruption is primarily motivated by the clampdown on the perceived political adversaries, while various other enemies of Nigeria remain untouched,” he said.

The embattled CBN governor has been in the custody of the DSS following his arrest on June 10 hours after he was suspended by President Tinubu.

Emefiele is being prosecuted by the President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government on two counts of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

After the court granted Emefiele bail, the Federal Government had on Aug 3rd filed an application seeking leave to appeal against the order granting bail to the suspended CBN governor.

The suspended CBN Governor has responded with an appeal seeking to stop the Federal Government from further remanding or prosecuting him on the charge of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunitions or on any other charge for that matter.

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has adjourned the case till Tuesday, Aug 15th, for further hearing.

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