Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), under the auspices of the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations on Good Governance, (CCSGG) on Friday, staged a protest at the gate of the National Assembly and called for the arrest of a member of House of Representatives from Jigawa State, Gudaji Kazaure, over his unfounded allegation on the N89 trillion stamp duty fraud against the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.
The CSOs were led by its President, Etuk Bassey, who spoke on behalf of members of the CSOs, described Kazaure as a liar who is out on a mission to tarnish the image of Emefiele.
The protesters numbering over four hundred persons wondered where the lawmaker came up with such damning allegations, insisting that it was politically motivated to tarnish the image of the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele and President Muhammadu Buhari both of whom are trying to effect a cashless policy to revamp the Nigerian economy.
Some of the protesters were seen by our reporter carrying placards with inscriptions such as “cashless policy a solution to poverty,” “corrupt Nigerians are after CBN governor,” “89trn stamp duty is a blackmail,” “plans to discredit cashless policy will be resisted,” among others.
Recall that a House of Representatives member, Muhammed Kazaure had raised an alarm of alleged theft of stamp duty proceeds running into N89 trillion.
The Jigawa-born lawmaker had claimed that he is in possession of valid documents to prove the existence of such funds in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) custody.
He had also alleged that the apex bank has not remitted stamp duty revenue to government coffers as tax insisting that the bank remits only 60 percent to the government while 40 percent goes to private pockets.
He had equally alleged that the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele kept another N171 billion dollars in the bank’s private investors’ account, being proceeds of stamp duty.
But Bassey Etuk Williams and Abubakar Ibrahim, leaders of the group who led the protest march to the National Assembly, said they observed that since the CBN governor announced the implementation of cashless policy and redesign of naira notes, a policy that probably does not go down well with some political class, they have been plotting ways of bringing to disrepute the personality of Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele.
Bassey said, “our attention has been drawn to the funny allegation flying around about stamp duty mismanaged money allegedly to a tune of N89 trillion according to a dissolved presidential committee that has Hon. Kazaure as Secretary. We are amazed that despite the dissolution of the said committee, he is still pressing for the submission of the report and going about slandering the name of the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele.
“As a group, we know that even the total banking deposit in the country is not up to N50 trillion not to talk of the said amount, so one wonders where the said sum emanated from and how they arrived at such an amount, yet the country is still broke.”