According to a person aware with Mr Obiora’s arrest, he is being targeted as a key witness against his boss.
According to report, the State Security Service has arrested Kingsley Obiora, the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria in charge of economic policy.
Mr Obiora has now spent four nights in detention while being questioned by the security service, which is investigating charges of financial impropriety under the dismissed governor, Godwin Emefiele.
Mr Emefiele, who was first appointed as CBN governor in June 2014, has been in SSS since June 10, 2023, a day after he was controversially removed from office by President Bola Tinubu.
While two federal judges have ordered Mr Emefiele’s release, the SSS has continued to find other grounds to hold him in custody, often filing fresh charges to supersede earlier ones for which the top banker had been arraigned.
A source familiar with Mr Obiora’s arrest said he was being targeted as a principal witness against his boss, although The Gazette has asked other sources to corroborate this. Another top CBN official Abbas Masanawa was arrested recently and held in custody, as officials seek to determine the steepness of Mr Emefiele’s alleged corruption.
The Gazette did not promptly hear back from the SSS and CBN about Mr Obiora’s detention, which officials said was not entirely unexpected given his knowledge of CBN’s policy decisions.
Mr. Obiora, who was born on March 6, 1976, worked as a policy head at the International Monetary Fund and assisted former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. He also served as an adviser to Mr Emefiele until March 2, 2020, when he was confirmed as one of the CBN’s four deputy governors.
Mr Tinubu ordered a special investigator in late July to investigate the CBN and other federal agencies suspected of long nurturing a culture of public bribery. According to officials, Jim Osayande Obazee returned to work at CBN in early August.
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