What is Emefiele being blackmailed for?

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SWITZERLAND, MAY 13, (TODAY’SECHO)- What is the newly reappointed Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele being blackmailed for? What information is available to his alleged blackmailer that is being used against him?

Many questions are begging for answers in a recent report accusing one George Uboh of attempting to blackmail Emefiele whom President Buhari has nominated for a second term ahead of the termination of his tenure in June. Today’s Echo had reported last week that the letter for his tenure elongation was sent to the Senate on Wednesday and read during plenary on Thursday.

According to reports circulating the media, Uboh had gone to court to stop the Senate confirmation of Emefiele, , over some undisclosed allegations.

According to media sources, George Udoh is reportedly a fraudster, drug trafficker, and an ex-convict who runs a tainted company called Panic Alert Security System (PASS), which he allegedly uses to harass, extorts and blackmail people of influence in the society
He was reportedly convicted and jailed in the United states for nine years in 1992 for multiple credit card frauds in the United States and then deported back to Nigeria at the completion of his time.

Nevertheless, All the reports on the matter have failed to answer one question; What is George Uboh blackmailing Emefiele for? With his reputation and the records held up against him, George Uboh surely seems like a distasteful character, and one who should not even have the courage to make assertive public statements, let alone attempting to stop the confirmation of such a highly placed person as the CBN governor. What then could have emboldened the man to face-off with such powerful forces?

Emefiele’s reappointment last week was received with mixed reactions. While some felt it is well deserved, others think otherwise. There have also been a trail of accusations from his detractors, ranging from nepotism to corruption. However, one of the most dangerous cases against him is the release of an audio over the weekend, in which Emefiele and other senior CBN officials are discussing the potential consequences of a loss of N500 billion which they had invested in a private business that ran aground.

The Apex bank has however, released a statement, asserting that no money is stolen or missing in the Central Bank. The statement, signed by CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, agued that, although the tape is authentic, the media outfits are interpreting the content out of context.

According to the CBN, the bank provided about N650 billion in loans at nine per cent, with a two-year grace period to 35 states of the federation. These monies were distributed to the states monthly with documented approval of the Federal Ministry of Finance and the presidency.

However, in closing the Bank’s 2018 accounts, external auditors in their Draft  Account, erroneously classified about N150 billion of these loans as bad, which negatively affected the Bank’s Balance Sheet and shareholders fund. The selective  conversation being circulated was simply a discussion to ascertain why the auditors took that position and next steps to resolving it. Obviously, it soon became clear that a State Government loan cannot be classified as “bad” or “irrecoverable” when the State still exists and getting FAAC allocations.

Although it is hard not to connect George Uboh’s blackmail allegations with the incriminating audio tape, the CBN and Emefiele’s handlers should provide answers to pressing questions on the issue.

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