BREAKING: Emefiele gets another N300m bail as he denies printing N684m notes with N18.96bn

The suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has been granted another N300 million bail as he pleaded not guilty to the allegation that he unlawfully printed Naira Notes while he held sway at the apex bank.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alleged that Emefiele had without authorization from former President Muhammadu Buhari, printed N684million Notes with the total sum of N18.96billion.

Besides, the anti-graft agency accused the former CBN boss of unlawfully approving the withdrawal of about N124.8bn from the consolidated revenue fund.

Besides, the anti-graft agency accused the former CBN boss of unlawfully approving the withdrawal of about N124.8bn from the consolidated revenue fund.

According to the EFCC, the defendant, acting in violation of law and “with intent to cause injury to the public,” okayed the printing of naira notes without the approval of both former President Buhari and the board of the CBN.

However, when the four-count charge was read to the defendant before trial Justice Maryann Anenih of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, pleaded his innocence to the allegation.

Emefiele’s lawyer, Mahmud Magaji (SAN), then asked the court to grant his client bail on self-recognizance pending the determination of the case.

The senior lawyer equally asked the court to grant his client the bail terms already granted him by another judge in the same FCT High Court, noting that the allegations are bailable offenses.

He added that Emefiele has dutifully attended court proceedings in different criminal matters instituted against him by the Federal Government.

EFCC lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), said he will not oppose the defendant’s bail application but on the condition that he deletes certain offensive claims in the bail application.

He urged the court to impose bail conditions that will ensure Emefiele attends court proceedings till the conclusion of the case.

Emefiele’s lawyer agreed with Oyedepo’s request while orally adopting his bail application and urging the court to grant the same.

In her ruling, Justice Anenih said bail is one that borders on the right to personal liberty provided the defendant will stand trial.

She granted Emefiele bail in the sum of N300 million with two sureties in like sum and who must own properties within Maitama District of Abuja.

She added that Emefiele must submit his international passport and must not travel out of the country.

The judge, however, said the certified true copies (CTC) of all the terms already complied with by Emefiele(including the N300 million bail) in another case will suffice in her instant ruling.

This means that Emefiele will only tender the CTC of the previous bail terms he complied with to go home.

The court subsequently adjourned to 28 and 29 May 2024.

Recall that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu suspended  Emefiele to allow for an investigation into his tenure and potential prosecution. Following his suspension, Emefiele filed a fundamental human rights suit regarding his prolonged detention, which was granted by Justice O. Adeniyi.

Emefiele was initially arraigned on July 25, 2023, before Justice Nicholas Oweibo on charges of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. However, this case was withdrawn by the Attorney General of the Federation and subsequently struck out by the court.

On November 17, 2023, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Emefiele on a six-count charge of procurement fraud before Justice Muazu. Emefiele pleaded not guilty, and the EFCC later amended the charges, leading to his re-arraignment.

Further legal troubles followed on April 4, 2024, when the EFCC arraigned Emefiele before Justice Rahman Oshodi of the Lagos High Court on charges related to abuse of office, specifically concerning alleged irregular allocation of billions of US dollars in foreign exchange. Emefiele again pleaded not guilty, and this case remains ongoing.

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