Emefiele released after meeting bail conditions

THE embattled former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has regained freedom after meeting his bail conditions.

He was freed on Friday, April 12, hours after the Lagos State High Court granted him N50 million.

The former apex bank governor was standing trial for abuse of office and other infractions.


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The judge, Rahmon Oshodi, ruled on the bail application and admitted Emefiele on bail with two sureties in like sum.

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Emphasising the bail conditions, the judge said the two sureties must be gainfully employed and have paid three years’ tax to the Lagos State government.

The judge ordered that the addresses of the sureties must be verified.

Emefiele is facing trial on a 26-count charge bordering on abuse of office.

The ICIR reported on Monday that the Lagos court ordered him to be remanded in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged abuse of office and the allocation of $4.5 billion, N2.8 billion.

During its ruling on Monday, April 8, the court adjourned till Thursday, April 11, to give its ruling on the bail application on the fresh 26 counts against the accused.

However, the court could not hear the application because of the Eid-el-Fitr holiday on Thursday.

The judge, Oshodi, also ordered the remand of Emefiele’s co-defendant, Henry Omoile, at the Kirikiri Prison pending the court’s ruling on his bail on April 11.

The court ruled that both accused should be detained after hearing the bail requests submitted by the defendants’ attorney, Abdul Hakeem Labi-Lawal. 

The charge was marked ID/23787c/2024 and dated April 3, 2024.

The EFCC alleged that the former CBN governor committed abuse of office between 2022 and 2023 in Lagos.

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The EFCC also claimed that Emefiele made an arbitrary decision in Lagos between 2020 and 2021 by allocating foreign exchange of $291,945,785.59 without calling for bids, which the prosecutor said was an abuse of his office as the CBN governor.

He was also said to have arbitrarily taken another decision in Lagos in 2021 by allocating foreign exchange worth $1,769,254,793.16, which the EFCC said made him violate and abuse his position as the CBN governor.

Emefiele’s co-defendant, Omoile, was accused of accepting gifts of $110,000 for Emefiele from one Raja Punjab through another, Monday Osazuwa, on November 17, 2020, in Lagos while serving as an agent in exchange for the CBN.

The allegation stated that the offences violated Section 73 of the Lagos State Criminal Law 2011.




     

     

    In November 2023, Emefiele was sent to Kuje Correctional Centre over an alleged N1.6 billion procurement fraud after he was arraigned on a six-count charge at a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Abuja, on Friday, November 17.

    The ICIR reported on March 7 that a forensic analyst confirmed before a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Abuja that the documents used by Emefiele to request the payment of $ 6.2 million to foreign election observers were forged.

    The analyst, Bamaiyi Meriga, disclosed while he appeared as a witness to the EFCC at Emefiele’s trial on Thursday, March 7.

    Meriga, who appeared before Hamza Adamu, a judge, told the court that following forensic analysis of the documents, he discovered clear evidence of forgery of signature and seal of execution different from the original version.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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