By Ikeugonna Eleke
A group, Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, COSEYL, has faulted the arrest and detention of former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, saying that President Bola Tinubu lacks the power to summarily suspend him.
The group which is an umbrella body of all youth groups in the Southeast, in a press statement by its President General, Mr Goodluck Ibem, called for Emefiele’s release.
He said: ‘The suspension of Mr Godwin Emefiele by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is without following the constitutional process or the act establishing the Bankers Bank CBN.
‘The CBN is a creation of the law and not a body created by one man which President Bola Tinubu is trying to make us believe. The suspension of Emefiele by President Tinubu and his unlawful detention by the DSS operating on the orders of the President is the height of impunity and executive lawlessness.’
The group said there were laid down procedures for removing a CBN governor and that such procedures were not followed, stating that Tinubu unilaterally removed Emefiele in a manner that did not align with the law.
It said the reason Tinubu was after Emefiele was primarily because of the Naira Redesign Policy, which, they said, cost Tinubu his victory in Lagos during the Presidential Election.
‘CBN Governors have the number of years for them to serve as stipulated by the CBN Act and anything to the contrary is totally unacceptable. The President is not constitutionally empowered to suspend or remove any CBN Governor at will.
‘If that happens, it means he can tell the Governor to print any amount of money for him which is grossly inappropriate and unconstitutional. The National Assembly should stand up and live up to her expectations of checkmating the excesses of the executive.
‘We therefore demand for the immediate release of the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, and his subsequent reinstatement as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria,’ the group stated.