Fresh trouble for Emefiele as EFCC files amended charges against ex-CBN boss

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By Kenneth Atavti

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, filed an amended 20-count charge against the suspended governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and embattled Godwin Emefiele at the FCT High Court.

Earlier, EFCC dragged Emefiele to court on six counts.

They are bordered on alleged breach of procurement procedure in the award of the contract to April1616 Investment Limited.

The anti-graft agency had, in August 2023, charged Emefiele and Sa’adatu Yaro and a company, April 1616 Investment Limited with breach of the procurement Act. This was in respect of the purchase of some vehicles.

Also, EFCC’s lawyer, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), on November 28, 2023, drew the attention of the court to an amended charge dated November 8, 2023.

In that charge Emefiele was the sole defendant and the charges reduced from 20 to six. Emefiele pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Justice Hamza Muazu, on November 22, 2023, granted him bail in the sum of N300 million.

Muazu in addition, ordered for two sureties in the like sum of N300 million. He added that they must have property in Maitama district of Abuja.

The sureties must in addition present the title documents and certificates of occupancy (C of O) to the court for verification.

The judge further added that Emefiele should submit to the registrar of the court his travelling documents and must be within Abuja within the period of his trial.

However, when the case came up today, Oyedepo told the court that they filed another amended charges of 20 counts against Emefiele just yesterday.

The new charges include forgery, conferring of corrupt advantage, and criminal breach of trust among others.

Responding, the defendant’s counsel, Matthew Burkaa (SAN), told the court that he needs time to study the new charge sheet.

Subsequently, Justice Muazu adjourned the case until Friday for arraignment.

Also, counsel to Emefiele, Burkaa, informed the Court that the defendant filed a motion dated January 10 seeking variation of the bail condition to enable him travel within the country.

He urged the court to vary the condition for his client.

Prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), did not object to the application but rather urged the court to ensure that the defendant remains within the country while his trial lasts.

He further asked that the defence team write an undertaking that their client will remain in the country.

In a ruling on the application, Justice Muazu granted the request and ordered that Emefiele should remain within Nigeria for the period of his trial.