• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Emefiele awarded contracts to wife, CBN official investigator tells court

Emefiele Powerful Nigerians who turn religious

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.

During proceedings on Monday, Agboro who is the 7th prosecution witness, led in evidence by Rotimi Oyedepo, counsel to the EFCC tendered several documents including company registration documents and awards of contracts as well as payments for contracts relating to the two companies.

The witness told the court that documents he obtained showed that while a Director of April 1616, Saadatu Yaro is a Public Officer with the CBN, Margaret Omoyile, Emefiele’s wife, and his brother-in-law, Mac Congo are Directors in Architekon.

He added that that prior to Emefiele’s appointment as CBN governor,Archtekon never had any contractual dealings with the apex bank even though it was in existence, until the Emefiele’s appointment.

He revealed that April 1616 was incorporated a few days after Sa’adatu Ramallan Yero was employed by CBN and posted to the bank’s Lagos branch.

Agboro added that April 1616 started enjoying CBN patronage with procurement of vehicles, particularly Toyota brand, without being an accredited dealer of Toyota.

However, during cross examination by Emefiele’s lawyer, Mathew Burkaa, Emefiele’s lawyer, the investigator said that nowhere in their findings did they discover that Emefiele was a director or shareholder or signatory to any account in either April1616 limited or Architekon Nigeria limited.

He admitted that April 1616 went through a bidding process with other companies and won the various contracts awarded to it, but said further he did not visit the contract sites to verify if the jobs awarded to the firms were done.

He also told the court that there was no evidence of any payment made to Emefiele by the companies in the course of performing his duties at the CBN.

The matter was adjourned till April 25 for further trial by Justice Hamza Muazu.