FG to dock Emefiele today over alleged economic sabotage criminal charges

Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, will today be put on trial by the Federal Government on alleged economic sabotage-related offences.

Emefiele, whose trial was aborted about 24 hours ago, will be arraigned at a High Court in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

A notice for his trial before Justice Hamza Muazu, sighted by DAILY POST, indicates that the ex-CBN Governor will be docked along with one Ramalan Yaro.

A registrar with the court, who wished to remain anonymous, confirmed that Emefiele would be brought before the court this morning for his plea of guilty or not guilty to be taken.

Similarly, one of the lawyers in his defence team, Maxwell Opara, confirmed that the notice of arraignment had been served on the former CBN Governor for him to appear in court.

The former CBN governor will be produced in court by Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Matthew Burkaa, who signed an undertaking to bring him for trial while being granted bail by Justice Olukayode Adegbola Adeniyi, also of the FCT High Court.

(Daily Post)

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$53m debt: Judge threatens to order Emefiele’s arrest

The Federal High Court in Abuja has given former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, till January 25 to appear in court to explain the circumstances surrounding the $53m judgment debt arising from the Paris Club refund.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a short ruling on Wednesday, gave Emefiele another opportunity to appear in court in person or he would issue a warrant for his arrest.

The development followed a plea by Emefiele’s counsel, Audu Anuga (SAN), that all efforts to ensure that his appearance in court had been unsuccessful as he was still in custody.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Joe Agi, had initiated a garnishee proceeding against the CBN for the purpose of recovering a judgment debt of $70m from Linas International Limited and the Minister of Finance.

According to a court document, Form 15 (Judgment Summons), following the garnishee order absolute, the CBN had paid Agi part of the $70m, leaving a balance of $53m.

Justice Ekwo had repeatedly ordered that Emefiele must appear before the court over the matter.

At the Wednesday proceedings, Emefiele’s lawyer, Anuga, informed the judge that he had on Monday filed an affidavit to show cause why an arrest warrant should not be issued against Emefiele.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that a legal officer in the Legal Department of the CBN, Jeremiah Utaan, in an affidavit in support of Emefiele’s case, informed the court that he was unable to appear as he had been in the custody of the Department of State Services since June 10.

“I verily believe that the cause of justice will not be served should the honourable court proceed to issue a warrant for the arrest of Godwin Emefiele,” he said.

The judge then asked the judgment creditor’s counsel, I.A. Nnana, if he had been served.

In response, Nnana said he was served on Monday but needed time to reply.

In reaction, Justice Ekwo said flouting of court orders would not be allowed and insisted that Emefiele must appear before him.

“As for the 4th respondent (Emefiele), I have always said, contempt proceedings follow a person whether the person is still there or not.

“In this case, I have given this particular person so much liberty, so much leniency and the situation does not seem to change.

“I will adjourn the matter because the other side says they want to react to the process, so there is not much talk.

“Orders of court must be complied with and even if no one complies with the order of the court, the court must comply with its order.

“I will give you sufficient time.”

The judge then adjourned the matter until January 25 for Emefiele to show cause why an arrest warrant should not be issued against him.

(Punch)

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Special investigative committee reportedly uncovers fresh ‘N3trn’ linked to ex-CBN gov, Emefiele

A fresh revelation from the investigative committee set up by President Bola Tinubu has revealed that former Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, allegedly stole N3 trillion from two projects alone, SaharaReporters reported on Sunday.

Top sources privy to the findings made by the committee told the online newspaper that the whopping amount was made from COVID loans and the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme Fund alone.

In July, Tinubu appointed a special investigator to probe the apex bank.

In a letter dated July 28, 2023, the president named the Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, Jim Obazee, as the special investigator.

The President asked Obazee to investigate CBN and key Government Business Entities. The committee only reports to the President.

The appointment of Obazee came over a month after Tinubu suspended Emefiele as the CBN governor.

Shortly after his suspension in June, Emefiele was arrested and taken into custody by Nigeria’s secret police, the Department of State Services (DSS).

Sources told SaharaReporters that Obazee’s investigative committee found out that Emefiele stole N3 trillion from the two projects, among other atrocities committed as the head of the apex bank.

“A fresh revelation from the committee set up by Tinubu to look into how Emefiele mismanaged the CBN shows that he practically stole N3 trillion from those two projects alone,” one of the sources said.

In addition, SaharaReporters also learnt that Obazee’s committee was pushing to have an interim report submitted to President Tinubu soon so that he would understand how grave and massive corruption at the CBN under Emefiele.

“Obazee’s committee is pushing to have an interim report submitted to Tinubu as a way of letting him understand the gravity of Emefiele’s financial crimes and how bad it set Nigeria’s finances back.

“The committee is asking that they should be allowed to submit an interim report so as to stop any attempt by Emefiele and the Attorney General of the Federation’s office to settle his case on the basis of N50 billion refund plea bargain as earlier exposed by SaharaReporters,” one of the sources said.

In his nationwide broadcast on Sunday morning as part of the programme of events to mark Nigeria’s 63rd Independence anniversary celebration, President Tinubu confirmed that findings on past lapses in the apex bank would soon be out.

In his address, Tinubu said, “I pledged a thorough housecleaning of the den of malfeasance the CBN had become. That housecleaning is well underway.”

“A new leadership for the Central Bank has been constituted. Also, my special investigator will soon present his findings on past lapses and how to prevent similar reoccurrences,” he added.

On Friday, SaharaReporters exclusively reported that Emefiele was set to be released from detention by the Department of State Services (DSS) after his plea bargain with President Tinubu’s administration had been concluded.

However, the AGF and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, on Sunday denied reaching any non-prosecution bargain with Emefiele.

Emefile and some of his associates were expected to be arraigned over N6.9 billion procurement fraud at the Federal Capital Territory High Court in August but the arraignment had stalled.

SaharaReporters had gathered that the non-prosecution plea bargain for Emefiele was being premised upon the former governor’s willingness to return N50 billion which he had corruptly amassed.

It was learnt that Fagbemi had signed the non-prosecution plea bargain and it was waiting for Tinubu’s approval.

(Saharareporter)

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=N=50B Plea bargain: No deal yet with Emefiele, says AGF

The federal government has refuted claims suggesting that it entered into a non-prosecution plea-bargain agreement with the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.

The office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), in a statement on Sunday, October 1, said no such deal currently exists, even though Emefiele’s legal team had spoken about it during a court hearing.

The statement was signed and issued by the Director (Press and Public Relations) Federal Ministry of Justice, Modupe Ogundoro.

It reads: “The attention of the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has been drawn to a report by Sahara Reporters alleging that the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, and the Federal Government of Nigeria, have agreed to a non-prosecution plea bargain arrangement.

“The report further alleges that Mr. Godwin Emefiele and the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, have signed a non-prosecution plea bargain agreement and that the agreement is awaiting the signature of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR.

“The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice hereby states clearly that these reports are completely false. It would be noted that the legal team representing Mr Godwin Emefiele had expressed their intention in court at the last hearing to initiate a plea bargain arrangement.

“However, no such arrangement has been reached with Mr Godwin Emefiele or his representatives. We wish to advise the media and members of the public to kindly disregard the said false report. The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice will continue to take all actions in the interest of the Nigerian public.”

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Emefiele to regain freedom after alleged N50bn plea bargain deal with Tinubu’s govt

The embattled former Central Bank Governor, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, is set to be released from the detention of the Department of State Services (DSS) after his plea bargain with the President Bola Tinubu’s administration has been concluded, SaharaReporters has reported.

According to the online newspaper, it was gathered that the non-prosecution plea bargain for Emefiele was being premised upon the former governor’s willingness to return N50billion which he had allegedly corruptly amassed.

SaharaReporters understands that the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Lateef Fagbemi, has signed the non-prosecution plea bargain and it is waiting for Tinubu’s approval.

The newspaper had in August reported that Emefiele faced 20 counts of conspiracy and procurement fraud levelled against him by the Nigerian government. He had on August 17, 2023, been brought to court under tight security.

“The exclusive deal has been finalised awaiting Tinubu’s order. Tinubu is expected back in Nigeria this weekend after a medical visit to France. The DSS traced N72billion to a series of accounts which Emefiele had planned to use for his Presidential run. Also, $70million he hid with a couple who specialised in helping him to do round tripping was discovered,” a top source revealed to SaharaReporters on Friday.

“The federal investigators have traced ownership of Polaris bank to Emefiele. As well as several other banks he used people to set up,” the source revealed further.

SaharaReporters had in August reported how the fundamental rights enforcement suit filed against the DSS and the AGF at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) by two brothers of Emefiele was withdrawn.

The court’s vacation judge, Justice Emmanuel Okpe, had struck out the suit after the applicants through their lawyer informed the court of their decision to discontinue the case.

The online newspaper had reported that the suspended CBN governor’s siblings – George Emefiele and Okanta Emefiele, had filed separate ex-parte motions at the court seeking order of the court to enforce their fundamental rights.

It had also been reported that the trial of Emefiele was stalled at the High Court of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) following his plan to enter into plea bargaining to get soft-landing.

It was learnt from lawyers involved in the case that Emefiele opted to enter into plea bargaining with the prosecution team.

“The matter is not coming up; they are finding another way to resolve the matter and give him soft-landing,” one of the lawyers had said.

“They are moving to negotiate plea bargaining.”

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