Emefiele Remanded in EFCC Custody as Counsel Pleads for Bail

•Says ex-CBN governor not flight risk

Funke Olaode

An Ikeja Special Offences Court yesterday, remanded the embattled former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) pending the determination of his bail application on Thursday.

Justice Rahman Oshodi, remanded Emefiele in the EFCC custody while his co-defendant, Henry Isioma-Omoile, was remanded in Ikoyi Custodial Centre where he was currently being held.

Emefiele is facing trial over his alleged abuse of office to covet $4.5 billion and N2.8 billion to himself.

The judge adjourned the case to Thursday, April 11, 2024, for determination of bail application and commencement of trial.

The EFCC had arraigned Emefiele on a 23-count charge bordering on abuse of office, accepting gratifications, corrupt demand, receiving property fraudulently obtained and conferring corrupt advantage while his co-defendant, was arraigned on a three-count charge bordering on acceptance of gift by agents.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the 26-count charge.

The EFCC Counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, asked the court for a trial date following their not guilty plea.

Counsel to the two defendants, Mr. Abdulakeem Labi-Lawal, had in his two bail applications urged the court to grant the defendants bail on self-recognisance and on liberal terms pending the determination on the case.

Labi-Lawal, in his 35 affidavits paragraphs, said that the first defendant (Emefiele) had complied with the bail application which was given to him by Justice Hamza Muazu in his ongoing alleged fraud trial in Abuja.

He added that the charges were filed against the first defendant were bailable offences and not a capital one.

According to him: “Though the first defendant was granted administrative bail by the prosecuting authority.

“He is seeking for bail based on self-recognisance and he is ready to attend trial.

“The court should also take into consideration, the status of the first defendant as he was the former CBN governor and number one banker.”

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

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

He also prayed the court to grant bail to Emefiele on liberal terms

Labi-Lawal also moved bail application for the second defendant and also urged the court to grant him bail on liberal terms.

The prosecution, 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.

EFCC in one of the charges,  alleged that Emefiele abused the authority of his office as CBN  governor by allocating foreign exchange in the aggregate sum of $2.2 billion without  bids, the act which was prejudiced to the rights of Nigerians.

It was also alleged that the ex-CBN governor
corruptly accepted the aggregate sum of $26.5 million through Donatone Ltd on account of allocation of foreign exchange.

The commission also accused Emefiele of receiving the sum of $400,000 from the Source Computer Ltd on account of the approval of “contract” in favour of the said company by CBN, the institution wherein he served as the governor.

The anti-graft also alleged that Emefiele used his position as the governor of CBN to confer a corrupt advance on his associate, Limelight Multidimensional Services Ltd by approving payment of the aggregate sum of N900 million to the said company.

Emefiele was also alleged to have used  his position as the CBN governor to confer a corrupt advantage on Comec Support Services  Ltd, by approving the sum of N149 million to the company.

EFCC also alleged that the former CBN governor used his position to confer a corrupt advantage on Andswin Resources and Solutions Ltd by approving payment of the sum of N398 million to the company.

The commission also accused Emefiele’s co-defendant (Isioma-Omoile) to have given the sum of $100,000 to the governor as gift reward for allocation of foreign exchange.

According to the prosecution, the alleged offences violated Sections 8, 10, and 19 of the Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences

Act 2000, Sections 65, 73, and 328 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2011.

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