THE Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has struck out the charge of “illegal possession of firearm and possession” brought against the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.
The Judge, Nicholas Oweibo, in his ruling, held that the application filed by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) seeking the withdrawal of the case is found in Section 108 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), which empowers him to withdraw and there was no need for the application to be in writing.
The judge questioned what good it would serve to the defence if the court did not permit the withdrawal of the charge.
Oweibo then struck out the two-count charges against Emefiele for lack of diligent prosecution.
The ICIR reported that the Federal Government, on Tuesday, August 15, filed fresh charges against Emefiele in Abuja.
This was disclosed to journalists after the day’s proceedings by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) at the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mohammed Bakodo Abubakar.
Abubakar said the fresh charges – with 20 counts – were filed at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court.
One of the counts accuses Emefiele of “conferring unlawful advantages”.
Earlier, the Federal government applied to withdraw the “illegal possession of firearms” case it filed against Godwin Emefiele at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.
Meanwhile, Emefiele’s arraignment on a fresh 20 counts charge on Thursday has stalled.
The arraignment was delayed due to the absence of one of the defendants who joined in the charge.
Emefiele, who was present in court, was charged with 20 counts of procurement fraud, conspiracy, and giving corrupt favours along with Sa’adatu Yaro, a female CBN employee, and her company, April 1616, Investment Limited.
The Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation (DPPF), Mohammed Abubakar, who is prosecuting the case for the Federal Government, informed the trial judge, Hamza Muazu, that Yaro became ill and was unable to appear in court.
As a result, he requested a fresh date, and Emefiele’s lawyer, Akinlolu Kehinde, did not object.
Consequently, Justice Muazu adjourned the case till August 23.