Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, confronted a six-count charge related to alleged irregularities in procurement, marked by a reduced sum of N1.6 billion from an initial accusation of N6.5 billion in a courtroom drama on Friday, November 17, 2023.
This came after an FCT court granted him bail last week. Prime Business Africa reported that Emefiele was initially arrested and detained by the Department of State Service (DSS) on June 9, was later transferred to the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Emefiele, the solitary defendant in the revised charges, stood firm and entered his plea of innocence against the allegations presented by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) through their lead prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo.
Amidst a packed courtroom, he arrived with his lead counsel, Mathew Burkaa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), as they mounted a defense seeking bail while vehemently contesting the accusations brought forth by the EFCC.
The amended charges specifically alleged that the former CBN Governor facilitated the purchase of 43 vehicles between 2018 and 2020, valuing N1.2 billion. These allegations included the awarding of contracts for various vehicles to a company allegedly linked to a CBN staff member, Sa’adatu Ramallan Yaro.
In response to the accusations, the former CBN governor disputed each of the six counts. One such count cited his utilization of his position to confer undue advantage by awarding contracts to a company purportedly associated with Yaro, an employee of the CBN.
Justice Hamza Muazu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court presided over the proceedings, adjourning the case to November 22 for a decision on Emefiele’s bail application and November 28 for the trial’s commencement. Pending these developments, Emefiele has been remanded in the Kuje Correctional Centre.
As the legal battle ensues, Emefiele maintains his stance of innocence against the allegations presented by the EFCC, setting the stage for a high-stakes legal confrontation in the days to come.