The State Security Service has arrested Kingsley Obiora, the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria in charge of economic policy, Bellnews can report.
Mr Obiora has now spent four nights in custody under questioning by the security service, which has been looking into allegations of financial mismanagement under Godwin Emefiele, the ousted governor.
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 Bellnews 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.
Bellnews 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, born March 6, 1976, was a policy chief at the International Monetary Fund and advised former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. He was also an adviser to Mr Emefiele until March 2, 2020, when he was confirmed to his current position as one of CBN’s four deputy governors.
Mr Tinubu, in late July, appointed a special investigator to probe the CBN and other federal agencies suspected of long fostering a culture of public graft. Jim Osayande Obazee resumed work in early August at CBN, officials said.