Kingsley Obiora, the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria responsible for economic policy, has found himself in the custody of the State Security Service (SSS).
This development comes in the midst of an ongoing investigation into the tenure of his boss, Godwin Emefiele, the former Central Bank governor who was controversially removed from office on June 10, 2023, by President Bola Tinubu.
It was gathered that Obiora has been held for four nights by the SSS, who appear to be probing his role as a potential key witness in the investigation against Emefiele.
Recall that despite two federal judges ordering Emefiele’s release, the SSS continues to detain him, often filing new charges to replace previous ones.
While the exact reasons for Obiora’s arrest remain somewhat unclear, sources suggest that he is being scrutinized due to his potential involvement as a principal witness in the case against Emefiele.
In a parallel development, Abbas Masanawa, another high-ranking official from the Central Bank, was also recently arrested and is currently in custody, as authorities work to determine the extent of alleged corruption during Emefiele’s leadership.
Efforts to obtain official comments from the SSS and Central Bank regarding Obiora’s detention have so far yielded no response.
Nevertheless, it is widely speculated that Obiora’s deep knowledge of the Central Bank’s policy decisions could be a key factor behind his arrest.
Born on March 6, 1976, Kingsley Obiora boasts a significant background in economic policy, having previously served as a policy chief at the International Monetary Fund and as an adviser to former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
His association with Emefiele ended in March 2020, when he was confirmed to his current position as one of CBN’s four deputy governors.
In late July, President Bola Tinubu appointed a special investigator, Jim Osayande Obazee, to probe the Central Bank and other federal agencies suspected of fostering a culture of public graft.
Obazee began his work at the Central Bank in early August, according to officials.