Ten individuals have filed a suit before an Abuja Federal High Court asking for the criminal prosecution of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, for money laundering and fraud.
The suit was filed by Ezenwa Ibegbunam on behalf of Achilike Anderson and nine others. Hearing on the suit has been slated by the court to begin on May 3, 2016.
The plaintiffs also asked the court to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to investigate, arrest and prosecute Emefiele for “offences of money laundering, unlawful, illegal and fraudulent direct cash payment to the Office of the National Security Adviser via a letter dated November 26, 2014 referenced: NSA/366/S.”
Also named in the suit as co-defendants are:the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (second defendant); the EFCC (third defendant); and the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (fourth defendant).
The petitioners are also asking the court to grant “an order directing the second defendant (the President) pursuant of Section 11 (2) (c) and (f) of the CBN (Establishment) Act Cap C4 LFN 2004 to write to the fourth defendant (Senate)” praying for the removal of the CBN governor”.
The plaintiffs further asked the court to declare that the payment made the office of the NSA was “a flagrant abuse of financial regulations, lacking in due process and therefore illegal and unlawful.”
They are also asking the court to declare that “virtue of the combined effect of Sections 1 and 10 (1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2004, the act of the first defendant (the CBN governor) in making direct cash payment in various sums of money to the Office of the NSA under the cover of ‘special services” in excess of the authorised limit cash payment and without giving the requisite report in writing within seven days to the third defendant (EFCC) constitutes a gross abuse of and misconduct in relation to the discharge of his duties.”
The suit further urged the court to declare that the CBN governor breached his constitutional duty to ensure that the Nigerian financial system was sound and the monetary policy stable; and also that Emefiele failed in discharging his duties.
On the 91 persons allegedly employed by the CBN, the 10 plaintiffs are asking the court to declare that the governor’s employment of them “amounted to gross act of misconduct, abuse of office and breach of due process and therefore illegal, void and of no effect.”
The court was also urged to “set aside and/or nullify the employment, offer of employment or hiring of the 91 persons by the first defendant (Emefiele) for being illegal and lacking in due process.”