Igali celebrates EK Clark at 93 years

…Say action of DSS is not only a travesty of the nation’s judiciary, but  a mortification of the nation’s image

…As SMBLF hails the courage and bravery of the judge for rejecting the application of the DSS

By Henry Umoru 

LEADERS of thoughts, elder statesmen from four of the six geo-political zones of the country, under the aegis of Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, SMBLF led by South-South Leader, Chief Edwin Clark, Monday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sack the Director- General of the Department of State Services, DSS, Yusuf Magaji Bichi for being disloyal and discourteous to the President and the nation. 

The Leaders have also said that  Bichi should be made to render an unreserved public apology to the nation and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele.

The SMBLF has also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency, put his house in order and stop embarrassing Nigerians and Nigeria.

According to the leaders, it has become very imperative for President Buhari to save the Country nation from what they described as repeated, unwarranted national embarrassments.

In a statement signed in Abuja by Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, Leader, South South/PANDEF; Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Leader, Afenifere;  Dr. Pogu Bitrus, President, Middle Belt Forum and Ambassador Okey Emuchay, MFR Secretary-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Worldwide,  the SMBLF said that the call became necessary following the reported recent attempt by the Department of State Services (DSS) to  obtain an ex-parte order from the Federal High Court, Abuja, to arrest and detain the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.

The SMBLF noted that the action of the Department of State Services was not only a travesty of the nation’s judiciary, but also a grave disservice to the Nigerian state, and a mortification of the nation’s image.

The leaders hailed the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Abuja,  Justice John Tsoho who in his ruling on 9th December 2022, rejected the application on the grounds that the DSS failed to provide sufficient evidence to warrant the issuance of an arrest warrant against Emefiele.

The Leaders said, “SMBLF demands that he should be relieved of his position, without any delay, for being disloyal and discourteous to the President and the nation. Mr. Yusuf Magaji Bichi should also be made to render an unreserved public apology to the nation and to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele.

“We are not in the least surprised at the way and manner Mr. Yusuf Bichi has been running the DSS since he assumed that office; his appointment as Director General of the DSS itself, in the first place, leaves much to be desired.

“President Muhammadu Buhari, not minding that appointments in the top hierarchy of the Military, Paramilitary, Security and Intelligence related agencies were already skewed and grossly lopsided in favour of the North, went ahead to, on 18th September 2018, appoint Yusuf Magaji Bichi, from Kano State, who had retired from the service, to replace Mr. Matthew Seiyefa, from Bayelsa State, who was appointed as Acting Director General of the Department of State Service (DSS), on 7th August 2018, by Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, then Acting President, following the sack of Lawal Musa Daura.

“Truth be told, there are elements within, and outside, the Buhari administration that do not want Mr. Godwin Emefiele to remain in office, as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; the reasons are not farfetched.  Recall that barely forty-eight hours after the announcement of the redesign of the country’s currency by the CBN, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, disowned the Policy. 

“She went on to assert that the redesigning, which the apex bank said is aimed at fighting banditry and kidnapping for ransom, controlling the amount of money in circulation, fighting inflation and addressing issues of corruption and hoarding of naira notes by individuals, if implemented, would portend great consequences for the Country and its economy. Similar disagreeable remarks were made by other top officials, with outrageous postulations and disparaging commentaries also peddled to discredit the person and Office of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“While SMBLF acknowledges that the Policy of the CBN to peg maximum daily withdrawals via Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), and Point Of Sale (PoS), terminals at N20,000 and N100,000 by individuals and corporate entities respectively, which has now been reviewed upwards, may have been rather harsh, it is instructive to note that the issues could have been resolved quietly, without the noisome hullabaloo, and without laying the Country open to international ridicule. 

“More importantly, SMBLF, calls for a thorough investigation of incident, even a Public Inquiry, to unveil the officials, and, others behind the disgraceful and subversive plot, with appropriate sanctions duly meted out. This is a very sensitive matter, and Government must give it the serious attention, it deserves. This misadventure has further brought to the fore the disturbing gaps and discordance in the Buhari Administration, which account for the many Policy conflicts and misdirection in the governance ofvthe Country.

“SMBLF, therefore, further urges Mr. President to put his “house” in order, and save the Country from recurring catastrophic haemorrhage. SMBLF recalls that it was in comparable manners that the former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, and several other top public office holders from the smSouthern and Middle Belt Regions of the Country, have been scandalously removed from office.

“It is imperative to underscore the fact that SMBLF, as a responsible organization, comprising prominent statesmen, who have served, and still serving, and contributing immensely to the betterment of our dear Country, Nigeria, will not stand idly by, where any venal act, at any level, against any citizen, or section. SMBLFA maintains that it is unfair that people would be so casually harassed, brutalised and brazenly persecuted, merely because of their ethnicity, or religion, or for serving their Fatherland diligently, meritoriously.

“While we appreciate that the Military, the Police and other Security and Intelligence Agencies, including the DSS, have constitutional duties and roles to perform, for the Country, her Citizens, and the President and Commander-in-Chief, it is imperative to caution that such duties should be carried out dispassionately and professionally, with acceptable deference to the rule of law.

“We cannot continue to run Nigeria like a Banana Republic, or a private Estate of some individuals, or groups. We warn that, if anything untoward should happen to Mr. Emefiele Godwin, there shall be severe consequences. This country belongs to all of us. Enough is Enough!”

The SMBLF statement read, “The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to put his house in order, and save the Country nation from repeated, unwarranted national embarrassments.

“This call became necessary following the reported recent, disgraceful, attempt by the Department of State Services (DSS) to surreptitiously obtain an ex-parte order from the Federal High Court, Abuja, to arrest and detain the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele.

“The action of the Department of State Services is not only a travesty of the nation’s judiciary, but also a grave disservice to the Nigerian state, and a mortification of the nation’s image.

“It is unthinkable that the DSS would recklessly and carelessly accuse Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, of financing terrorism and involvement in economic crimes of national security dimension. This is not only shameful but a disgrace to the Buhari administration and the Nation. And capable of unsettling the socioeconomic tractions of the country.

“What is the evidence that the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, is involved in terrorism financing? 

“If the allegations against the CBN Governor are genuine, why didn’t the DSS present its findings to the President for consideration and necessary action?

“It is common knowledge that the Governor the Central Bank, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has been carrying out Mr. President’s directives and instructions religiously. We wonder whether it is those instructions given to him by the President, which he carries out that make him to be a terrorism sponsor? Or there are personal actions and activities he has carried out without the president’s approval and instruction?

“The CBN Governor who has been doing everything to salvage the nation’s economy with several intervention schemes in agriculture and SMEs, etc, to ensure that individuals, households and businesses across all sectors of the economy receive support to sustain their operations and livelihoods, especially during COVID and even in post-COVID era.

“It was thwarting that the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, practically “apple-polished” certain sections of the country with the apex bank’s intervention schemes to boost production of farm commodities, providing smallholder farmers with inputs, in kind and cash, particularly in the Northern States that supposedly have comparative advantage to produce rice, maize, wheat, cotton, tomato, roots and tubers like cassava, potatoes, yam, etc. The CBN interventions have reportedly led to huge drop in rice importation, in recent years; which has been publicized widely as one the key achievements of the Buhari administration. Sadly, the same Godwin Emefiele is now being labeled terrorism sponsor. What a shame!

“It is bemusing that Mr. Yusuf Bichi (the Director General of the Department of State Services), and his backers, presumed all citizens have been “conquered”. 

“Allegedly acting on a petition, the DSS filed a secret suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja, on 7 December, under Section 66 of the Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Act, 2022 to request a court order for Mr. Emefiele’s arrest and detention for 60 days, in the first instance.

“But, the respected judge, Justice John Tsoho, who is the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in his ruling on 9th December 2022, rejected the application on the grounds that the DSS failed to provide sufficient evidence to warrant the issuance of an arrest warrant against Mr. Emefiele.

“SMBLF applauds the courage and bravery of the judge; it is gratifying to know that there are still men and women of character and integrity, who can firmly defend and uphold justice, without fear or favour. By this singular act, Justice John Tsoho has written his name in gold, and shall remain indelible in the hearts and minds of all patriotic Nigerians and people of goodwill across the world.

“The judge in his ruling also inferred that there was no seeming indication that the President approved the action of the DSS. Now, if indeed, President Muhammadu Buhari was not aware of the plot, then, it would be inexcusable to allow Mr. Yusuf Magaji Bichi remain a moment longer in office as Director-General of the Department State Services.

“Allegedly acting on a petition, the DSS secretly filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja, on 7 December, 2022, under Section 66 of the Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Act, 2022 to request a court order for Mr. Emefiele’s arrest and detention for 60 days, in the first instance.

“But, the respected judge, Justice John Tsoho, who is the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in his ruling on 9th December 2022, rejected the application on the grounds that the DSS failed to provide sufficient evidence to warrant the issuance of an arrest warrant against Mr. Emefiele.

“SMBLF applauds the courage and bravery of the judge; it is gratifying to know that there are still men and women of character and integrity, who can firmly defend and uphold justice, without fear or favour. By this singular act, Justice John Tsoho has written his name in gold, and shall remain indelible in the hearts and minds of all patriotic Nigerians and people of goodwill across the world.

“The judge, in his ruling, also inferred that there was no seeming indication that the President approved the action of the DSS. Now, if indeed, President Muhammadu Buhari was not aware of the plot, it is, the more inexcusable to allow Mr. Yusuf Magaji Bichi remain a moment longer as Director-General of the Department of State Services.

“While SMBLF acknowledges that the policy of the CBN to peg maximum daily withdrawals via Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and Point Of Sale (PoS) terminals at N20,000 and N100,000 by individuals and corporate entities respectively, which has now been reviewed upwards, may have been rather harsh, it is instructive to note that the issues could have been resolved quietly, without the current attending noisome hullabaloo, and without laying the Country open to international ridicule. 

“More importantly, SMBLF, calls for thorough investigation of incident, to determine officials and individuals behind the disgraceful and subversive plot, and appropriate sanctions must be meted out to anyone found culpable. This is a very sensitive matter and must be given serious attention by the government. The misadventure has further brought to the fore the disturbing gaps and discordance in the Buhari administration, which account for the many policy conflicts and misdirection in the government.

“SMBLF, therefore, further urges Mr. President to put his “house” in order and save the nation from recurring national mortifications. We recall that it was in comparable manners that the former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, and several other top public office holders from the Southern and Middle Belt Regions of the Country have been scandalously removed from office.

“It is important to underscore that SMBLF as a responsible organization comprised of prominent statesmen of Nigeria, who have served and still serving, and contributing immensely to the betterment of our great country, Nigeria, will not support acts of venality, at any level; however, maintains that it is unfair that people would be so harassed and persecuted, merely, because of their ethnicity or religion or for even serving their Fatherland meritoriously.

“While we appreciate that the Military, the Police and other security and intelligence agencies including the DSS have constitutional duties and roles to perform for the Nation and its citizens, and the President and Commander-in-Chief, it is imperative to caution that such duties should be carried out dispassionately and professionally, with acceptable deference to the rule of law.

“We cannot continue to run Nigeria like a Bannana republic, or an Estate, owned by certain individuals or groups. We warn that if anything untoward happens to Mr. Emefiele Godwin, there shall be severe consequences. This country belongs to all of us. Enough is Enough!

“We commend the civil society organizations, youth groups, and prominent individuals across the country, for the patriotism and unanimity demonstrated in  condemning the deplorable action of the DSS. This is the sort of unison Nigeria needs and deserves. Whether we are from the north or south, East or West, we must all work together to sustain and bolster the unity, stability and progress of our dear nation, Nigeria.

“Finally, SMBLF hereby cautions politicians seeking elective offices in the forthcoming 2023 general elections, and their supporters, at all levels, to exercise restraint in their quest for power. They do not have to destroy the country or any Nigerian, to attain their ambitions. Power comes from God and he bestows it to whomsoever he wishes.”

The post Emefiele: Sack DG, DSS, Bichi now, Clark, other  Southern, Middle Belt Leaders tell Buhari appeared first on Vanguard News.

Author

Write A Comment