EFCC Re-arraigns Emefiele On Fresh Charges

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has re-arraigned a former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele before Justice Hamza Muazu of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court, Maitama, Abuja.

He was re-arraigned on Friday, January 19, 2024 on 20-count amended charges bordering on conferment of corrupt advantages, conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, forgery and obtaining by false pretences to the tune of Six Million, Two Hundred and Thirty Thousand United States Dollar ($6,230,000.00).

Count One of the charges reads: “That you, Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, male, adult, sometime in 2018 within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did use your position as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria to confer a corrupt advantage on Saadatu Ramallan Yaro, a staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria by awarding a contract for the supply of 37 (Nos.) Toyota Hilux Vehicles at the cost of Eight Hundred and Fifty-Four Million, Seven Hundred Thousand Naira (N854,700,000.00) to April 1616 Investment Ltd, a company in which the said Saadutu Ramallan Yaro is a director and you thereby committed an offence.”

Count 20 of the charges reads: “That you, Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele male, adult and Odoh Eric Ocheme (still at large) on or about the 8th day of February, 2023 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court knowingly obtained by false pretence, the sum of Six Million, Two Hundred and Thirty Thousand United State Dollar ($6,230,000.00) by falsely representing that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation vide a letter dated 26th January, 2023 with Ref No. SGFF.43/L.01/201 requested the Central Bank of Nigeria to provide a contingent logistic advance in the sum of Six Million, two Hundred and thirty thousand ($6,230,000.00) “in line with Mr. President`s directive” which representation you knew to be false and you thereby committed an offence.”

Before Emefiele took his “not guilty” plea, his counsel, Mathew Burkaa, SAN objected to the charges, citing Section 221 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA 2015. However, Justice Muazu, relying on Section 396 of ACJA, overruled his objection, stating that any objection in respect of the charges should be heard after the defendant has taken his plea. He also advised the defence counsel to tender his objection in writing.

Upon Emefiele’s “not guilty” plea to all the charges, prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN asked the court for a trial date.

Justice Muazu adjourned the matter till February 12 and 13, 2024 for continuation of trial and sustained the bail earlier granted to the defendant.

The EFCC, had on November 17, 2023 arraigned the former CBN governor before Justice Muazu on six-count charges bordering on procurement fraud to which he also pleaded “not guilty.”

Culled from EFCC.

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