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Alleged N6.9bn fraud: Court defers Emefiele’s trial

Alleged N6.9bn fraud: Court defers Emefiele’s trial

Unveiling the Latest Developments in the Suspended Governor Emefiele’s Case

Alleged N6.9bn fraud


In a twist of events that has captured the attention of the nation, the much-anticipated arraignment of the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has once again hit a roadblock. This time, the proceedings took an unexpected turn, leaving legal experts and the general public intrigued by the fresh developments surrounding the case.

Absence Marks the Day

Alleged N6.9bn fraud

As the scheduled arraignment date dawned, neither Godwin Emefiele nor his co-defendant, Mrs. Saadat Yaro, who is also facing a 20-count corruption charge alongside the former CBN governor, were present in the courtroom. The trial Justice Hamza Muazu, presiding over the case as the vacation judge, was ready to proceed. However, to the surprise of many, Emefiele’s case was conspicuously absent from the court’s cause-list.

Court Insider Speaks

An anonymous court official, who spoke exclusively to Vanguard, disclosed that the proceedings could not go forward as planned due to “fresh developments” that have emerged in the matter. The official revealed that due to these developments, the arraignment had to be suspended. The court is expected to communicate a new return date to all parties involved, signaling a temporary halt in the legal battle.

Exploring Plea Bargain

Alleged N6.9bn fraud

Interestingly, speculations have arisen regarding the possibility of the embattled suspended CBN governor pursuing a plea bargain deal with the Federal Government. A defense lawyer privy to the situation hinted at the potential for an out-of-court settlement. This move, it is reported, is at the behest of Godwin Emefiele himself.

The defense lawyer stated, “The parties are in talks and hopefully the matter will not proceed to trial. We are exploring a plea bargain arrangement. We have asked the court to give us at least two weeks.” While Emefiele’s lawyer, Mr. Kehinde Akinlolu, confirmed that the scheduled arraignment would not proceed, he remained tight-lipped on the plea bargain issue.

The Dynamics of Plea Bargain

Alleged N6.9bn fraud

A plea bargain, a common legal maneuver in criminal trials, involves negotiations between the prosecution and the defendant. The defendant agrees to plead guilty to a lesser charge or offense, resulting in reduced sentencing or even the dismissal of certain charges. Once both parties reach an agreement, the trial court accepts the terms, which become part of the judgment.

In the context of Nigerian law, plea bargains are facilitated by Section 270(1) & (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) of 2015. This legal provision governs the intricacies of such arrangements and ensures transparency and fairness in the process.

Past Hurdles and Present Roadblocks

Alleged N6.9bn fraud

This recent stall in Emefiele’s arraignment is not the first. On August 17, the proceedings were similarly postponed due to the absence of the second defendant, Mrs. Saadat Yaro, who, as a staff member of the apex bank, took ill. The case itself involves serious allegations, including conspiracy, procurement fraud, and accusations that the suspended CBN governor conferred corrupt advantages upon himself and associates.

The Federal Government, acting as the prosecutor, alleges that during Emefiele’s tenure as the head of the CBN, he awarded contracts to April 1616 Investment Limited, with Mrs. Yaro as its Director. The charges specifically pertain to the acquisition of over 98 high-end vehicles and armored buses valued at approximately N6.9 billion.

Key Witnesses and Breach of Trust

Among the individuals listed to testify in the case are notable figures such as the Director of Procurement at the CBN, Stanley Alvan, and the Head of Procurement at the bank, Mike Agboro. These witnesses are expected to provide crucial insights into the alleged transactions. The defendants are accused of violating various provisions of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act of 2000, which underscores the severity of the charges.

The Arrest and Bail Saga

Alleged N6.9bn fraud

The case’s origins trace back to the arrest of Godwin Emefiele at his Ikoyi residence in Lagos. The arrest took place shortly after his suspension as the governor of the CBN by President Bola Tinubu. Subsequently, Emefiele was arraigned before the Federal High Court in Lagos on July 25, facing charges related to illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Although the court granted him bail in the amount of N20 million with a surety, his freedom was short-lived. The Department of State Services (DSS) re-arrested him within the court premises, leading to a controversial confrontation with a senior prison official.


Alleged N6.9bn fraud

As the legal drama surrounding the suspended Governor Emefiele unfolds, the nation watches with bated breath. The recent turn of events, including the potential for a plea bargain, adds a layer of complexity to an already intricate case. With various key players set to testify, the trial promises to shed light on alleged corruption within the CBN.


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