‘Fraud’: CBN Staff Member Testifies As EFCC Finally Opens Case Against Emefiele
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Monday, opened its case against a former Governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, on 20-count charges bordering on alleged corrupt practices and forgery.
But Emefiele’s legal team led by Matthew Bukaa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, raised objection to certain allegations made by EFCC prosecution witness, Ogbu Onyeka Michael, a Deputy Director at CBN’s Branch Operation Department.
The witness had said that all requests for payments are usually addressed to his office, and at a set date, the request for payment of USD6,230,000 was received, and the document was reviewed to have come from the Banking Services Department.
According to him, the memo for the payment was for international election observers.
He added that the payment followed a number of approvals including that of the CBN governor.
The witness, through the EFCC lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, spoke on some of the documents showing the memo, instructions and approvals made for the payment.
However, the documents were not certified and Emefiele’s lawyer seized the opportunity to urge the court to either “expunge” the allegations of the witness or compel the prosecution to provide him with the certified copies of documents to enable him properly cross-examine the witness.
But Oyedepo told Justice Hamza Muazu to “stand down proceedings for 30 minutes” so he can get the certified true copy of some of the exhibits.
Bukaa countered him, saying it was near impossible for the prosecution to get the documents certified within 30 minutes, adding that the court should rather adjourn the case till tomorrow.
The judge, in the interest of justice, adjourned sitting till Tuesday.
THE WHISTLER recalls that Emefiele was re-arraigned on the amended 20 counts and he pleaded not guilty to the charges read to him.
The trial judge adjourned the case till February 12th and February 13, 2024, for the commencement of trial.
Part of the charge reads, “That you, Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, male, adult, sometime in March 2020 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did use your position as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria to confer a corrupt advantage on your wife, Omoile Margret, and brother-in-law Omoile Macombo by awarding a contract for the external renovation of the CBN Governor’s Residence lying, being and situate at No. 2 Glover Road, Ikoyi, Lagos in the sum of 99,826,452.47 to Messrs. Architekon Nigeria Limited, a company wherein the duo are directors and majority shareholders and you thereby committed an offence.”