Deputy Governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and majority of its directors are reportedly under pressure following an ongoing investigation of gross misconduct.
The nominees to replace the suspended CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and his four deputies will undergo Senate screening, while the existing officials will face intense questioning at the Department of State Security (DSS) as part of a financial abuse investigation estimated at trillions of naira.
Sources indicate that the investigative team has subjected deputy governors and most directors to lifestyle audits to assess potential financial improprieties while they held office.
While these audits do not prove culpability, they serve as guide to investigators, News About Nigeria understands.
According to The Guardian Nigeria, since August, deputy governors and several directors have been repeatedly summoned to the DSS facility.
Acting Governor Folashodun Shonubi, has also been interrogated four times recently. President Bola Tinubu had nominated him to lead the CBN team, expressing concern that regulator investigations were negatively impacting confidence.
Tinubu nominated Olayemi Michael Cardoso to replace Emefiele, emphasizing the urgent need to stabilize the financial system and address the foreign exchange crisis and inflation.
Meanwhile, Deputy Governors may resign soon, but it remains uncertain whether the President will have them dismissed outrightly, which does not require legislative approval.
The CBN Act requires a two-thirds majority in the Senate to dismiss the CBN governor, so as to protect the office’s autonomy.
Emefiele’s four deputy governors are Folashodun Adebisi Shonubi, Aishah Ahmad, Edward Adamu, and Kingsley Obiora. Apart from the deputies, some directors are attempting to disassociate from alleged involvement in fraudulent activities with the suspended governor.
These directors have been rumoured to possibly retire from their positions, so as to safeguard their reputations.
However, the investigation has also extended to officials at the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), who allegedly manipulated accounting guidelines for the CBN.
The DSS has been leading the investigation, as President Tinubu has reportedly questioned the integrity of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).