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Emefiele returns to EFCC custody, faces fourth arraignment April 25


Emefiele in court today

The Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja, on Monday, sent back the immediate-past Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, to the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Justice Rahman Oshodi made the remand order shortly after the anti-graft agency arraigned Emefiele on 23 counts bordering on “abuse of office, accepting gratifications, corrupt demand, receiving property fraudulently obtained, and conferring corrupt advantage.”

In the substance of the charges, the EFCC alleged that abused his office while he was CBN Governor through allegation allocations of $4.5bn and N2.8bn.

He was arraigned alongside  Henry Isioma-Omoile, whom the EFCC accused of accepting gifts from agents.

Both defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.

While Justice Oshodi ordered that Emefiele should be remanded in EFCC custody, he ordered that  Isioma-Omoile be remanded at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre, where he was already being held.

The judge made the remand orders while adjourning till Thursday, April 11, 2024, to hear their bail applications.

With Monday’s order, Emefiele returns to the EFCC custody about four and a half months after he left the custody of the anti-graft agency in November 2023, following his initial 151 days in both the custody of the EFCC and the Department of State Services.

At the Monday proceedings, his lawyer, Mr Abdulakeem Labi-Lawal, told hinted that the ex-CBN governor would be up for a fresh arraignment between April 25 and 26.

It will be the fourth criminal case filed against him by the Federal Government following his removal from office last June by President Bola Tinubu.

The DSS first arraigned before the Federal High Court in Lagos for illegal possession of firearms. The case was later withdrawn.

He was subsequently arraigned by the EFCC in November before Justice Hamza Muazu of the Federal Territory High Court on charges bordering on procurement fraud and forgery of the signature of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari.

His Monday arraignment before Justice Oshodi in Lagos was the third.

At the Monday trial in Lagos, the EFCC prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), told the court that Emefiele allegedly abused the authority of his office as CBN  governor by allocating foreign exchange in the aggregate sum of $2.2bn without bids, the act which was prejudiced to the rights of Nigerians.

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