Moves by the Department of State Services (DSS) on Tuesday to arrest Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele may cause a further slip of the naira against the dollar.
In the suit, FHC/ABJ/CS/2255/2022, the security agency asked the Federal High Court in Abuja permission to take Emefiele into custody.
Justice John Tsoho did not grant the application. The Chief Judge said the DSS did not provide concrete evidence to substantiate its claims against the CBN chief.
Emefiele is accused of terrorism financing and economic crimes, though a coalition claims the plot is to keep him in solitary confinement ahead of the sack.
Since the news broke, Nigerians have been raising their concern about the fate of the naira, which is recovering from a recent free fall.
Though the current dollar-to-naira rate is about N745 on the black market, it nearly hit N900 sometime between October and November.
Individuals and business owners are now contacting Bureau De Change operators to get information on what to expect in the coming days.
Sanni, an operator in Abuja, told newsmen that customers called him on Monday to purchase dollars due to uncertainty over Emefiele’s case.
Some social media users have also voiced fear about the naira weakening more due to a loss of confidence.
“Without recourse to the fact before the court, the presiding judge did a good job by denying the application of DSS to arrest Emefiele.
“The consequences of his arrest will be extremely grave on our economy, particularly the value of our currency, naira”, @skelly16th wrote.
It is unknown if the DSS will return to the court with another application and evidence that will convince the judge to approve Emefiele’s arrest, a major topic of debate.
The Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunanya, is yet to reply to a text enquiry on the agency’s next line of action.