Ohanaeze youths ask Tinubu to stop ‘illegal detention’ of Emefiele, insist EFCC witnesses exonerated him

The group, in a statement jointly signed by its leaders, Obe Agu and Nwabueze Obi, said the exoneration of Emefiele by witnesses of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the court, was a clear evidence that he was being persecuted and not prosecuted.

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The group has therefore urged President Bola Ahmed Bola to bring to an end to what it called the continuous illegal detention of former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and obey the subsisting Court order on his release.

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Godwin Emefiele, former CBN Governor in Court

BRANDPOWER reports that even after the court committed him to bail, Emefiele had remained in Kuje Prison because operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have been keeping a close watch over Kuje Correctional Services Centre where the embattled former CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele is being held pending his release. With this unusual move by the EFCC, it is feared that the embattled former CBN governor may be arrested yet again by the EFCC just as the DSS did earlier on.

According to the Ohanaeze Youth group, the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Abuja last Tuesday commenced the trial of Emefiele, with three witnesses exonerating him of wrongdoings in the award of N1.2bn vehicle supply contracts by CBN under him.

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The group, in a statement jointly signed by its leaders, Obe Agu and Nwabueze Obi, said the exoneration of Emefiele by witnesses of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the court, was a clear evidence that he was being persecuted and not prosecuted.

The group, therefore, called for Emefiele’s release, and a diligent prosecution process.

 

The statement reads, “Emefiele was put on trial by the Federal Government through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on six counts bordering on alleged breach of procurement procedure in the award of the contract to April1616 Investment Limited. At the opening of the trial, the first prosecution witness admitted that Emefiele was not the owner or shareholder of April1616 Investment Limited which was awarded the N1.2bn vehicle supply contract by CBN under Emefiele

“The witness, Samsideen Romanus, a top official of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) gave evidence on how the company was incorporated on August 1, 2016, and tendered several documents on how the company was floated. He read out before the Court, the names of shareholders of the company which comprised Aminu Idris Yaro, Maryam Aliyu Abdullahi and Saadatu Ramalan Yaro as joint owners of the entity. Romanus who was led in evidence by EFCC lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, while tendering several documents on how the company was incorporated on August 1, 2016, said Emefiele’s name was not in any way connected with the company.

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“The witness explained that although CAC was responsible for the incorporation of the company, it, however, has no role in the day-to-day running of affairs of the entity. The second witness, Remigious Ugwu, a Compliance Officer with Zenith Bank, told the court how various sums of money in millions of naira were paid by the CBN into the April1616 Investment Limited. Specifically, he told Justice Hamza Muazu how, on October 19, 2020, a sum of N39,060,465, another N421,953,488 on November 6, 2020, and the third one N304,883,720 was paid on November 23, 2020, to the same company by CBN. He admitted that none of the payments had any links to Emefiele’s name while also clarifying that he did not know the purpose of the payments.

 

“The witness, who tendered various documents on behalf of the bank, said the former CBN governor was not a signatory to the bank account of the company. The third witness, Oluwole Owoeye, a Deputy Director, Banking Services with CBN and former Secretary to the Major Contract Tendering Committee (MCTC) of the CBN, said his body was responsible for ensuring compliance with the Procurement Act in the award of contracts. Owoeye, however, informed the court that his committee was not involved in the vetting of bidding for the award of contracts that led to the prosecution of Emefiele.

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The witness explained that another committee handled the bidding because it was above the threshold of his own committee. The above testimonies by these witnesses are clear evidence that Emefiele was being witch-hunted.”