Nigeria: Emefiele Returns to EFCC Custody, Faces Fourth Arraignment on April 25

Nigeria: Emefiele Returns to EFCC Custody, Faces Fourth Arraignment on April 25

By Zuleihat Owuiye, Mamos Nigeria

The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has been sent back to the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja. Justice Rahman Oshodi made the remand order after Emefiele was arraigned on 23 counts of “abuse of office, accepting gratifications, corrupt demand, receiving property fraudulently obtained, and conferring corrupt advantage.” The charges against Emefiele allege that he abused his office as CBN Governor by making improper allocations of $4.5 billion and N2.8 billion. He was also accused of accepting gifts from agents. Emefiele and his co-defendant, Henry Isioma-Omoile, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Justice Oshodi ordered that Emefiele be remanded in EFCC custody, while Isioma-Omoile was remanded at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre. The judge adjourned the case until April 11, 2024, to hear their bail applications. This marks the fourth criminal case filed against Emefiele by the Federal Government since his removal from office last June. Emefiele had previously been arraigned by the Department of State Services and the EFCC on different charges.

During the trial, the EFCC prosecutor alleged that Emefiele abused his authority as CBN governor by allocating foreign exchange in the sum of $2.2 billion without bids, which prejudiced the rights of Nigerians. The prosecutor also accused Emefiele of accepting $26.5 million through Donatone Ltd as a result of the allocation of foreign exchange by the CBN. Emefiele was further alleged to have received $400,000 from Source Computer Ltd in connection with the approval of a contract by the CBN. The charges also accused Emefiele of using his position as CBN governor to confer corrupt advantages on various companies by approving payments to them.

Emefiele’s defense counsel requested that the court grant bail to the defendants on liberal terms, stating that the charges were bailable offenses and that Emefiele was not a flight risk. The defense counsel also informed the court that Emefiele was likely to be arraigned on another charge in Abuja between April 25 and 26, 2024.

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