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Emefiele Arraigned For Printing N684m Notes With N18.96bn, Pleads Not Guilty

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Wednesday, arraigned the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele for approving the printing of N684.5m notes at the rate of N18.96bn.

Emefiele was arraigned before Justice MaryAnn Anenih of the Federal Capital Territory High Court on four counts.

He pleaded not guilty to the four counts when it was read to him.

Moving his application for bail, his counsel, Mahmud Magaji, asked the court to grant him bail on self recognition and on the same grounds and conditions of bail already granted him by a sister court led by Justice Hamza Muazu.

He added that Emefiele would always be present in court to face trial.

Justice Anenih subsequently granted him bail in the sum of 300 million Naira, with two sureties in like sum, who must be residents of Nigeria and owners of properties in Maitama district.

The sureties must post an affidavit of means.

Emefiele must also deposit his travel documents before the Court. He must also not travel outside the country without the permission of the court.

Justice Anenih added that he should be remanded at kuje correctional center pending when he fulfills his bail conditions.

The case has been adjourned to 28th and 29th of May, for commencement of trial.

With the new four counts filed against him, the EFCC alleged that Emefiele disobeyed the direction of law with intent to cause injury to the public during his implementation of the naira swap policy of the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

The anti-graft agency also accused Emefiele of unlawfully approving the withdrawal of N124.8 billion from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation.

Wednesday’s arraignment brought to three the number of charges pending against the former CBN governor.

The new charge, dated April 2, 2024, was filed by the EFFC prosecutor Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN) alongside eight other lawyers acting on behalf of the Attorney General of the Federation.

Counts one to four of the charge, reads,  “STATEMENT OF OFFENCE: Public Servant disobeying direction of law with intent to cause injury to the public contrary to and punishable under Section 123 of the Penal Code Law, Cap. 89 Laws of the Federation, 1990.

“PARTICULARS OF THE OFFENCE: That you GODWIN IFEANYI EMEFIELE between the 19th day of October 2022 and 5th March 2023 in Abuja, knowingly disobeyed the direction of Section 19 of the CBN Act, 2007, by approving the printing of N375,520,000.00 pieces of colour swapped N1, 000, at the total cost of N11,052, 068,062 without the recommendation of the Board of Central Bank and the strict approval of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria which conduct of yours caused injury to the public and you thereby committed an offence.”

COUNT 2: “That you, GODWIN IFEANYI EMEFIELE, between the 19th of October 2022 and 5th March 2023 in Abuja, knowingly disobeyed the direction of Section 19 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007, by approving the printing of 172,000,000 pieces of colour swapped N500 (Five Hundred Naira) Notes, at the total cost of N4, 471,066,040 without the recommendation of the Board of Central Bank and the strict approval of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria which conduct of yours caused injury to the public and you thereby committed an offence.

COUNT 3: “That you GODWIN IFEANYI EMEFIELE between the 19th day of October 2022 and 5th March 2023 in Abuja, knowingly disobeyed the direction of Section 19 of the CBN Act, 2007, by approving the printing of 137,070,000 pieces of colour swapped N200 (Two Hundred Naira) Note, at the total cost of N3, 441, 005, 280 without the recommendation of the Board of Central Bank and the strict approval of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria which conduct of yours caused injury to the public and you thereby committed an offence.”

COUNT 4: “That you, GODWIN IFEANYI EMEFIELE, on or about the 7th day of October 2020, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, knowingly disobeyed the direction of Section 80 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended), by approving the withdrawal of the total sum of N124, 860, 227, 865.16 from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation in a manner not prescribed by the National Assembly, which conduct of yours caused injury to the public and you thereby committed an offence.”

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Rita Elenwo

Rita Aletor- Elenwo, is a professional journalist with experience in broadcast, print and online reporting. A proud citizen of Edo state, Nigeria (Esan South East Local Government) Rita had her first degree in philosophy from Ebonyi State University (2008), PGD, in Communication from the University of Port Harcourt (2020), and currently in pursuit of an MSC degree in communication. Rita (nee Aletor-) is happily married with lovely children.

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