Emefiele denies unlawful printing of naira, gets new N300m bail

When the charges were read to him by the court’s registrar, Emefiele pleaded not guilty to all of them, denying all the allegations contained in the charge.

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Emefiele denies unlawful printing of naira, gets new N300m bail
Emefiele in court today

An FCT high court, in Maitama, on Wednesday admitted the embattled former Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to bail in the sum of N300 million .

Justice Maryann Anenih granted him to bail while ruling on his bail application over alleged unlawful printing of naira and naira colour swap.

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) brought against him a-four – count amended charge bordering on disobedience to direction of the law on the issue of unlawful printing of naira.

The EFCC alleged that Emefiele, between October 2022 and March 2023, disobeyed the direction of section 19 of the CBN Act by approving the printing of 375,520,000 pieces of ”colour swapped” N1.000 for N11billon without the recommendation of board of the bank.

In count two, he was accused of spending N4.4 billion to print 172,070,000 pieces of N500 colour swap.

While count three stated that the embattled CBN governor used N3.4 billion to print colour swap of 137,070,000 pieces of N200.

EFCC accused Emefiele in count four of withdrawing N124.8 billion from the consolidated revenue fund of Federation in a manner not prescribed by the National Assembly which caused injury to the public , contrary to section 123 of the penal code.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against him.

When the charges were read to him by the court’s registrar, Emefiele pleaded not guilty to all of them, denying all the allegations contained in the charge.

Anenih in addition, ordered for two sureties in the like sum of the N300 million who must have property in Maitama district of Abuja.

The sureties , she said, must in addition present the title documents and certificates of occupancy (C of O) to the court for verification.

The sureties in addition must submit to the Registrar of the court their recent passport photographs.

The judge further added that Emefiele should submit to the registrar of the court his travelling documents and must be within Abuja within the period of his trial.

The judge ordered that the certified true copy (CTC) from Justice Hamza Muazu’s who granted him bail in the same conditions.

He earlier held that bail is at the discretion of the court according to what was placed before it, however, according to the law.

He added that the offence which of a- six count of confinement of advantage on self attracted 5 year imprisonment as punishment.

He held that there was nothing in the prosecution’s submission that showed that Emefiele would abscond or would jeopardise investigation or threaten the security of the country.

Emefiele’s Other trial

Emefiele is also standing trial before Justice Hamza Muazu of 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 the apex bank’s boss.

Justice Olukayode Adeniyi of a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) high court also on Jan. 8 awarded N100 million damages to suspended former governor of the central bank of Nigeria (CBN) against the federal government and Economic and financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for violations of his right.

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

The judge held that the respondents need not incarcerate the applicant in other to carry out investigation 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.

Enforcement of fundamental human rights

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

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

He said the respondents in deviance of several valid subsisting court orders for his release amounts to a grave violation of his fundamental rights to life, personal liberty, as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

 

More insights from Nairametrics

  • Nairametrics reports that Emefiele was suspended from office by President Bola Tinubu, paving the way for an investigation into his office as CBN governor and subsequent prosecution.
  • The suspended governor had also filed a fundamental human rights suit against his prolonged detention before Justice O. Adeniyi. The application was granted.
  • Emefiele was arraigned on a two-count charge of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition before Justice Nicholas Oweibo, on July 25, 2023. The matter was eventually withdrawn by the Attorney General of the Federation and struck out by the court.
  • On November 17, 2023, the EFCC arraigned the former CBN governor before Justice Muazu on a six-count charge bordering on procurement fraud.
  • Emefiele pleaded not guilty to the charge. EFCC later amended the charges before Justice Muazu and re-arraigned Emefiele.
  • On April 4, 2024, the EFCC arraigned Emefiele before Justice Rahman Oshodi of the Lagos High Court over abuse of office bordering on alleged irregular allocation of billions of US dollars in foreign exchange.
  • The suspended CBN governor pleaded not guilty, and the case is yet to be concluded.