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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Court sets date for EFCC to bring Emefiele before trial on new accusation

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will on May 15 arraign the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, in a Federal Capital Territory court on three counts amended charge.

In the fresh charge filed against him, the EFCC alleged that Mr 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.

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

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the arraignment was earlier slated before Justice Maryann Anenih.

However, all the parties were not present in court when the matter with case number: CR/264/2024 was called.

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The court said that the prosecution sent a letter seeking adjournment because Mr Emefiele was standing trial in another court in Lagos.

The judge therefore adjourned until May 15 for the arraignment.

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Mr Emefiele is also standing trial before Justice Hamza Muazu of the FCT High Court on an alleged 20-count amended charge, preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He was alleged to have engaged in criminal breach of trust, forgery, conspiracy to obtain by false pretence and obtaining money by false pretence when he served as central bank chief.

Justice Olukayode Adeniyi of the FCT High Court also on 8 January awarded N100 million damages to the suspended former CBN governor against the federal government and the EFCC for violations of his rights.

Mr Adeniyi further restrained the federal government and its agents from arresting Mr Emefiele unless an order was obtained through a competent court.

The judge held that the respondents need not incarcerate the applicant to investigate for a long period as against the provisions of the law.

“No material placed before the court to show that the release of the applicant will in any way interfere with the investigation of allegations preferred against him.”

READ ALSO: How I collected $600,000 bribe from contractors for Emefiele – ex-CBN staff

Mr Emefiele had dragged the Federal Government, Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Executive Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Commission before the court to enforce his fundamental rights to life, personal liberty, fair hearing and freedom of movement.

He sought a court declaration that his continued detention by the agents of the first and second respondents since 10 June 2023 and subsequent transfer to the custody of the third and fourth respondents on 26 October 2023 without being arraigned in court is unlawful.

He said the respondent’s disobedience of court orders for his release amounts to a grave violation of his fundamental rights to life, and personal liberty, as guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

(NAN)

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