Emefiele Pleads Not Guilty to 26-count Charge

Funke Olaode 

Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele,  and a co-defendant, Henry  Isioma-Omoile, Monday pleaded not guilty to the 26-count  charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

They were arraigned on Monday before Justice Rahman Oshodi of the Ikeja Special Offences Court.

The Defence counsel, Mr. A. Labi- Lawal,  had in his two bail  applications urged  the court to grant the defendants bail on self recognizance and on liberal terms pending the determination of the case.

Labi-Lawal, in his 31 affidavits, said that the first  defendant (Emefiele) had complied with the bail application which was given to him by Justice Muazu in his alleged fraud trial case going on in Abuja. 

He said the charges were bailable offences and not a capital offence.

According to him: “Though the first defendant was granted administrative bail by the prosecuting authority, he is seeking for bail based on self-recognizance and he is ready to attend the court.

“The court should also take into  consideration the status of the first defendant as he is the former CBN governor of the country.”

The defence counsel said  that  his client  had religiously presented himself before Justice Muazu in Abuja to answer the allegations before him.

According to him, the first defendant was not a flight risk as he was the first person to arrive in court.

He also prayed the court to release Emefiele to his lawyer, pending  the determination of the  bail.

The EFCC counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), however, did not oppose  the  bail  application moved by the defence counsel.

Oyedepo, however, urged the court to exercise its discretion judiciously  in granting  bail  to the  defendants.

The prosecution had asked the court for a trial date, following the plea of the defendants.

Justice Oshodi of the Ikeja Special Offences Court remanded Emefiele in EFCC custody while his co-defendant, Henry  Isioma-Omoile was remanded in Ikoyi Custodial Centre where he was currently held  pending the determination of their bail applications on April 11.

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