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Emefiele faces trial for alleged $2.14bn forex abuse in Lagos on Monday

Emefiele (1) (1)

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is set to arraign former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele on Monday, April 8th, 2024, at the Ikeja State High Court in Lagos.

Emefiele faces a 26-count charge of abuse of office bordering on the alleged irregular allocation of billions of US dollars in foreign exchange.

Emefiele will be arraigned before Justice Rahman Oshodi. The outcome of the arraignment will determine the next steps in the legal proceedings.

The charges, filed by Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), allege that Emefiele, alongside co-defendant Henry Isioma Omole, committed the offenses between 2020 and 2023. The EFCC claims Emefiele, while Governor of the CBN, bypassed established procedures for foreign exchange allocation, causing prejudice to Nigerians.

The specific allegations include:

Directing the allocation of foreign exchange in the total sum of $2,136,391,737.33 without bids.
Allocating foreign exchange in the total sum of $291,945,785.59 and $1,769,254,793.16 without bids between 2020 and 2021.
Approving a special allocation of foreign exchange for an unspecified sum in 2021.

Emefiele’s co-defendant, Omole, is accused of receiving a $110,000 bribe on Emefiele’s behalf in exchange for favorable foreign exchange allocation.

The EFCC alleges these actions contravene Section 73 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

In March, an investigator with the Independent, Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), Michael Agboro, on Monday told the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Abuja that Godwin Emefieleok, former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, awarded contracts to April 1616 and Architekon Nigeria Limited belonging to his wife and Sa’adatu Yaro, a CBN staff member respectively.

The two companies were awarded multiple contracts for the renovation of the CBN governor’s lodge in Lagos as well as the supply of power lines and vehicles for the bank.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had accused Emefiele of using his position to approve the payment of the total sum of N97.9m in favour of Architekon Nigeria Ltd, and N99.8 million for renovation of the CBN Governor’s residence in Lagos.

Agboro, told the court that Emefiele, who is standing trial on 20 counts amended charges bordering on forgery, conspiracy to obtain by false pretence and obtaining money to the tune of $6.23 million, did not confer any unfair, corrupt advantage on himself in the award of contracts to some companies during his tenure.