Aishah Ahmad, the Deputy Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank in charge of Financial System Stability, has been arrested and is being held by the Department of State Services (DSS). Her detention stems from allegations of engaging in shady dealings involving the purchase of shares in Polaris Bank, Titan Bank, and Union Bank.
Aishah is currently under interrogation regarding the source of the $300 million used to finalize the acquisition of Union Bank by Titan Bank. Her detention comes after the suspension and subsequent arrest of the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, by the DSS.
Aishah was appointed back in 2018
Aishah Ahmad assumed the role of Deputy Governor at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on March 23, 2018. As the Deputy Governor overseeing Financial System Stability, her primary responsibility is to spearhead initiatives aimed at ensuring a stable financial system in Nigeria, which aligns with one of the central objectives outlined in the CBN Act.
In her capacity, Ahmad serves as a key member of the CBN’s Governing Board and Committee of Governors, while also holding the position of Chairman at the Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC).
Emefiele’s rumoured reappointment nominations
A report surfaced detailing Emefiele’s alleged efforts to conceal his corruption allegations during Muhammadu Buhari’s presidency. Additionally, it was reported that Emefiele covertly recommended the renewal of the terms of Mrs. Aishah N. Ahmad, Deputy Governor of the Financial System Stability Directorate, and Mr. Edward L. Adamu, Deputy Governor of the Corporate Services Directorate, to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Emefiele’s nomination of his close associates for reappointment was seen as an attempt to conceal his alleged corruption within the bank, according to the report. An unknown source also claimed Emefiele had covertly submitted the names of Aisha and Edward for renewal well ahead of schedule, aiming to prevent the next government from appointing their own candidates and, seemingly, to secure their loyalty to him.
He is rumored to have paid substantial amounts in dollars to influential figures within the government to ensure the renewals are approved. Edward was the individual featured in an audio exclusively leaked. As for Aisha, she was reportedly brought into the position of Deputy Governor through the influence of Samaila Isa Funtua and his son.
Several others undergoing investigation
An investigation has been initiated into the President of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Prof. Benedict Oramah, and several others regarding the $300 million provided by the pan-African multilateral financial institution to Titan Trust Bank Limited for the acquisition of a 93.4% stake in Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. Also under investigation are Aminu Yaro, a prominent Northern business figure, and Farouk Gumel.
Sources further asserted that Oramah, Emefiele, and other individuals were under investigation by multiple agencies, including the EFCC, DSS, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).
Central bank refuted claims of illegal sale of Polaris Bank
Additionally, there were reports back in December 2022 suggesting that Ahmad played a role in enabling the sale of Polaris Bank at a favorable price, potentially in hopes of enhancing her prospects for the position of CBN Governor.
The CBN refuted these allegations and characterized the sale of Polaris Bank as an institutional decision overseen by a committee comprising senior representatives from the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and the CBN.
The Central Bank further clarified that there were no higher purchase offers from any other party, as claimed by the newspaper.
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