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The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested the Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Abbas Umar Masanawa, for allegedly conspiring with the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, to loot printing and minting corporation.

Peoples Gazette reports that sources in the secret police said that Masanawa was taken into custody three weeks ago and had remained in the DSS custody while their investigation continued.


It was however not immediately clear whether or not the NIRSAL boss had hired lawyers to represent him in the case.

Masanawa’s arrest reportedly stemmed from his role as the managing director of Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC).

Masanawa resigned from NSPMC after it was reported that he wanted to run for governorship election as a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) while still in office as the printing and minting boss.

The NSPMC which is a subsidiary of the CBN is responsible for printing and minting Nigeria’s currency notes, coins and high-level security documents.

A source privy to Masanawa’s arrest was quoted by Peoples Gazette as saying, “He was conspiring with Godwin Emefiele to loot the printing and minting agency,” adding, “We are still tracing billions they stole.”

However, it was not immediately clear why President Bola Tinubu approved Masanawa’s detention without first suspending him from office, especially since his detention for the past three weeks has crippled NIRSAL’s ability to operate.

Meanwhile, the DSS spokesperson Peter Afunaya reportedly said “No comment,” when asked about Masanawa’s arrest.

Masanawa’s arrest came after Tinubu appointed an anti-graft expert, Jim Obazee, to uncover fraud at the CBN and other federal agencies.

The Obazee-led team is said to have initiated a probe into all relevant agencies that are said to have connived with the CBN and its sprawling parastatals.

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