Alleged Procurement Fraud: EFCC opens legal case against Emefiele

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The suspended Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, is on trial for procurement fraud in an FCT High Court in Abuja. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, or EFCC, began its case on Monday.

Emefiele was accused by the anti-graft agency of 20 modified counts of criminal conspiracy, giving undue benefit, and breach of trust, among other offenses. On Friday, he refuted all of the charges.

A re-arraignment was required after Emefiele was initially charged with six counts and arraigned on November 28, 2023, following the filing of additional charges by the EFCC.

After reading the charge, he entered a not guilty plea.

6.2 million dollars were set aside for foreign election observers, according to Deputy Director of CBN branch operations and EFCC First Witness (PW 1) Onyeka Ogbu, who was testifying on behalf of the organization with Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN.

“On Jan.8, 2023, a request for payment of 6.2 million dollars was brought to my attention by the Banking services department.

”Ours is to make payment, we don’t have the power to approve.

” Having gone through the documents and satisfied, I minuted it and sent it for processing and disbursement which was complied to. ” he said.

He prayed for the matter to be stood down to enable him get more documents.

However, SAN Matthew Burkaa, the former CBN governor’s attorney, turned down the prosecution’s prayer.

He stated that it would be preferable to postpone the trial so that the prosecution could obtain all certified true copies and allow the witness to face cross-examination.

Justice Hamza Muazu deferred the case to Tuesday in order to continue the trial after hearing their arguments.

In some of the amended charges EFCC, alleged that Emefiele, in January 2023, forged a document titled: “RE: PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE ON FOREIGN ELECTION OBSERVER MISSIONS,” dated January 26 2023 with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/201.

The EFCC said Emefiele claimed to know that it was false “and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(1) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act.”

According to the amended charge marked CR/577/2023, Emefiele, on February 8, 2023, connived with one Odoh Ocheme, who is now on the run, to obtain $6.2m from the CBN, claiming that the SGF requested it “vide a letter dated January 26 2023 with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/201.”

The anti-graft agency alleged that the contract for the renovation of the CBN Governor’s lodge, located at No. 2 Glover Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, was awarded to a company named Messrs. Architekon Nigeria Limited, “wherein the duo are directors and majority shareholders.”

According to EFCC, the offence contravened the provisions of sections 17 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, and sections 315, 363 and 364 of the penal code.

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