Godwin Emefiele, the embattled former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, alongside his deputies, may now face trial after the plea bargain move between them and the Federal government was stalled.
Recall that on June 9, President Bola Tinubu suspended Emefiele from office following the ongoing investigation of his office and the planned reforms in the financial sector of the economy.
Shortly after his suspension, the Department of State Services (DSS) arrested Emefiele and has since detained him over allegations of terrorism financing, among others.
However, it was gathered that Emefiele was later reported to have entered into a plea bargain with the Federal Government in exchange for his freedom.
According to The Nation, trillions of naira were being tracked by a federal agency, but only a few billions of naira were offered as refundable by some of those linked to the suspicious transactions.
A source told the newspaper that some interceding forces and Emefiele had not made progress on the plea bargain terms.
Despite Emefiele’s offer to step aside in August, the other terms of the plea bargain process were “not substantially met.”
It has also been confirmed that the four deputy governors were dropped because of their alleged complacency when Emefiele was in the saddle at the apex bank.
It was also learnt that following interventions, the government’s investigation, initially coordinated by a security agency, had recommended a plea bargain option with Emefiele, who wanted it.
Apart from Emefiele offering to step aside, other terms were the withdrawal of court cases against the government and the refund of substantial cash allegedly linked to him and others.
However, the source stated that there were strong indications that the plea bargain option may have suffered a setback.
The source said: “Where trillions were being queried, some of those affected have offered to refund about N32 billion only.
“The engagement of the Special Investigator has also uncovered more mismanagement of resources and questionable expenditures in CBN than what some security agencies dug up.
“The findings of the Special Investigator have uncovered a massive rot.”
A source within the Presidency said the CBN was riddled with corruption, adding that the government might prosecute anyone indicted in the ongoing probe of the apex bank.
The government official, however, declined to volunteer information on the plea bargain dimension.
He said: “I don’t know whether the plea bargain has collapsed or not. I don’t even know if that is on the table to start with. But I know the CBN Governor and the Deputies have been removed.
“The investigations across the board are going on, and I am sure the govt will prosecute anyone who has compromised the country.”
The presidential source stated that the investigation confirmed that the four deputy governors were replaced because of their alleged complacency.
According to the source, none of the deputy governors complained when Emefiele was allegedly mismanaging the CBN.
He said: “Most of the DGs “actively collaborated with Emefiele on policies and decisions not in line with the CBN’s mandate.
“Investigation is still ongoing. The special investigator sure uncovered a lot of rots which implicated the Deputy Governors.
“There is no way the Deputy Governors would have remained with the scale of corruption, poor corporate governance and complacency that happened under Emefiele.
“Allowing them to remain will mean the government has condoned all that went down under their watch.”