Buhari Confers National Honours On Central Bank Governor, Emefiele; Tinubu’s Wife, Remi; Head Of Aso Rock Cabal, Mamman Daura, Others

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The outgoing president, Muhammadu Buhari has conferred national honours on 339 Nigerians.

In the list issued by the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs on Sunday, May 28, 2023, former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Emeka Anyaoku is the sole person nominated for Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON).

Those listed for the award of Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR) are Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation, Bisi Akande, a former Governor of Osun state and Mamman Daura.

Daura is a nephew and close confidant of the outgoing President.

He is the leader of the ‘Cabal’, a group of influential individuals around Buhari, who help him make key decisions.

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Others include Herbert Wigwe, group chief executive officer, Access Holdings; the late Mohammed Barkindo, former Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Secretary-General; and Chima Nweze, a Supreme Court judge.

Terry Waya, a Nigerian businessman; Wale Edun, an economist and member of the Presidential Transition Committee (PTC), Awele Elumelu, co-founder of Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and chairperson of Avon Medical Practice Limited, were among those listed for the award of the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR).

Some other prominent women who would receive national honours include Oluremi Tinubu, wife of ‘President-elect’ Bola Tinubu; Owen Omogiafo, President of Transcorp Group; and Sharon Ikeazor, Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs.

Many others on the list are ministers who served under Buhari.

Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who has been under criticism for bringing hardship to Nigerians occasioned by his Naira redesigned policy was also awarded Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR).

The press had exclusively reported how the DSS accused Emefiele of sabotaging the economy, financing terrorism and committing other economic crimes.

Top government sources shared with News men  how the investigation linked Emefiele to a well-known terror financier, whom the apex bank governor had sent funds for onward transfer to controversial Islamic cleric Sheikh Ahmad Gumi.

Gumi is known for hobnobbing with terrorists and bandits and advocating that amnesty should be granted to them.

In 2022, one of Gumi’s associates, Tukur Mamu, was arrested and detained by Interpol at Cairo International Airport in Egypt while awaiting a connecting flight to Saudi Arabia. Upon his return to Nigeria, he was arrested by the DSS over allegations that he was heading to Saudi Arabia to meet with some international terrorists.

Meanwhile, the secret police said their preliminary investigation revealed various acts of terrorism financing, fraudulent activities perpetrated by Emefiele and his involvement in economic crimes of national security dimension including mismanaging the CBN subsidiary, NISRAL, and the central bank’s Anchor Borrowers Programme.

The secret police also accused Emefiele of “fraud, money laundering, round tripping and conferment of financial benefit to self and others.”

The agency sought a court warrant to arrest the CBN governor but Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, refused to grant the application, citing an irregularity in the procedure adopted by the DSS in its application.

News men  had also reported how Emefiele nursed presidential ambition and attempted to vie for the office on the platform of the ruling APC.

After facing opposition from some quarters including within the CBN, Emefiele approached the Delta State High Court sitting in Kwale, Ndokwa West Local Government Area, Delta State, to get an order restraining the apex bank and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from stopping him from contesting the 2023 presidential election.

He eventually backed down after it was clear that he would have to resign from office to contest the presidential primary election of the ruling party.

In March, a former lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani, said Emefiele’s life would be made miserable by the incoming administration of Tinubu.

According to Sani, Emefiele’s life and activities under the incoming government will be like that of a ‘Zebra in the hands of Tigers’.

Sani, who represented Kaduna Central Senatorial District in the 8th Assembly made the statement on his Twitter page a week after the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, declared Tinubu as the winner of the 2023 presidential election.

Considering the controversies that have surrounded the Naira redesign and cashless policy under Emefiele’s leadership in CBN and the fact that Tinubu alleged that the Naira redesign policy was targeted at sabotaging his presidential ambition, Sani said, “When Baba is gone, Emefiele will be like Zebra in the hands of Tigers.”

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