The Department of State Services (DSS) has accused Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), of clandestinely funding the ‘Unknown Gunmen’.
TOP MEDIA reports that the ‘Unknown Gunmen’ is a catch-all for the criminal gangs carrying out frequent bouts of attacks on southeast residents, security agents, and government facilities. Although authorities have linked the criminals to the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN), members of the ‘Unknown Gunmen’ group have dissociated themselves from IPOB. However, they confirm that they are Biafra agitators.
According to the newly-obtained court documents filed by the DSS against Emefiele at a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Abuja, Emefiele has been sponsoring the outlaws.
The documents provide, for the first time, the missing details of the terrorism financing allegation which the DSS levelled against Emefiele last December.
In a myriad of weighty allegations, the DSS accused the CBN Governor of sabotaging the Muhammadu Buhari administration, financing, aiding and abetting terrorism, and committing other economic crimes with effect of undermining Nigeria’s national security.
Also, the secret police accused Emefiele of mismanaging the CBN subsidiary, the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing system for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), and the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Programme.
The DSS alleged that Emefiele funded the ‘Unknown Gunmen’ with both the resources he raised for his failed presidential bid last year (2022) and funds diverted from government coffers.
It added that “the said funds and vehicles are being channelled into funding of Unknown Gunmen, Eastern Security Network (ESN) and elements of IPOB, a proscribed organisation.”
Recall that on December 19, 2022, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court Abuja, Justice John Tsoho, rejected a suit filed by DSS, seeking to arrest Emefiele over terrorism charges.
Tsoho described the suit as an illegal operation and plot to deceive the court into granting a frivolous order to help arrest and deprive Emefiele of his personal liberty.
Ruling on suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/2255/2022 between the DSS (applicant) and Emefiele (respondent), Tsoho said the entire affidavit depositions, especially as per paragraph 4 of the supporting affidavit, purports that preliminary investigation has revealed various acts of terrorism financing, fraudulent activities perpetrated by the respondent and his involvement in economic crimes of national security dimension.
The Chief Judge said these are, no doubt, grave allegations, which the applicant has not presented any concrete evidence to support.