Procurement fraud: Emefiele meets bail conditions, regains freedom

THE former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has been freed by the Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja.

After meeting his bail condition, the former CBN chief was released on Friday, December 22.

The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) spokesperson, Abubakar Umar, confirmed Emefiele’s release to The ICIR on Saturday morning.


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“He has fulfilled his bail conditions and was released yesterday, Friday. He was released around 10 p.m.,” Umar stated.

On Wednesday, November 22, a Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja, granted Emefiele N300 million bail and two sureties in the like sum.

According to the judge, Hamza Muazu, the titles and certificates of occupancy for the properties held by the sureties must be from within the Maitama District.

Emefiele must stay inside the Abuja Municipal Area Council and deposit his travel documents with the court registrar.

The court ordered him to stay at Kuje Correctional Center until he met his bail conditions.

This came four months after the Federal High Court in Lagos granted him N20 million bail in a different case involving the unlawful possession of weapons.

The ICIR reported on Friday, November 17, that Emefiele was sent to Kuje Correctional Centre over an alleged N1.6 billion procurement fraud.

The former CBN governor was arraigned on a six-count charge at a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Abuja.

The Federal Government said in the new charge sheet that Emefiele unlawfully purchased 43 vehicles for N1.2 billion between 2018 and 2020.

The initial 20-count charge, totalling N6.5 billion, has been reduced to six.

After the six-count accusation was read to him, the former apex bank chief entered a not-guilty plea when he appeared in court on Friday, November 17, to request bail.

He was charged with ordering 37 Toyota Hilux vehicles, totalling N854 million.

He was also charged with giving corrupt benefits in violation of Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Act 2000 when he granted N73 million for the supply of a Toyota Landcruiser in 2019.

The ICIR reported that an FCT High Court granted the former CBN chief bail on November 8.






     

     

    The judge, Olukayode Adeniyiordered that he be released immediately to his lawyers, who must bring him into court for arraignment the following week or any other day.

    Meanwhile, the Special Investigator looking into the CBN activities, Jim Obazee, revealed that Emefiele and others had embezzled billions of naira and committed other financial offences after more than four months of investigation.

    According to Obazee’s report, which was delivered to President Bola Tinubu on December 9, 2023, Emefiele, who held office from June 2014 to June 2023, committed fraud in the redesign of the naira and “in fraudulent cash withdrawal of $6.23 million.”

    Besides, he was accused of keeping 543.4 million pounds in the United Kingdom.

     

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