• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Emefiele remanded in EFCC custody, faces fresh corruption charges


A former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele, was returned to the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday by the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja.

Justice Rahman Oshodi remanded Emefiele after he was arraigned on 23 counts bordering on abuse of office, receiving gratification, and corrupt practices. The EFCC alleges Emefiele misused his position to allocate billions of dollars in foreign exchange and receive millions in bribes.

Emefiele pleaded not guilty alongside his co-defendant, Henry Isioma-Omoile, who is accused of accepting gifts on Emefiele’s behalf. Isioma-Omoile was remanded at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre.

The judge adjourned the case until April 11 to rule on bail applications and commence the trial. This marks Emefiele’s fourth criminal case since his removal from office last June.

Key allegations:

Misallocation of foreign exchange: The EFCC alleges Emefiele allocated foreign exchange worth $2.2 billion without following proper bidding procedures.
Receiving bribes: Emefiele is accused of accepting millions of dollars in bribes through various companies and individuals.
Conferring undue advantage: The EFCC claims Emefiele used his position to benefit associates by approving suspicious payments to several companies.

Defense arguments:
Emefiele’s lawyer argued that the charges are bailable and requested his release on self-recognizance or to his counsel. He emphasized Emefiele’s public service record and his ongoing trial in Abuja.

The court will decide on bail applications on April 11. The prosecution may also request closed hearings for some witnesses fearing for their safety. This case adds to the legal challenges faced by the former CBN governor.