November 28, (THEWILL) – A Federal Capital Territory High Court, sitting in Maitama, Abuja, has adjourned until January 18 and 19, 2024, hearing on an alleged procurement fraud against former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned Emefiele on a six-count amended charge of alleged procurement of vehicles to the tune of N1.6 billion.
Emefiele had on November 17, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
At the resumed hearing, the Prosecution Witness, who is a top official of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Samsudeen Romanus, told the court that Emefiele was not the owner or a shareholder of the April1616 Investment Limited, awarded N1.2bn vehicle supply contract by CBN under Emefiele.
He was led in evidence by EFCC lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, while tendering several documents on how the company was incorporated on August 1, 2016.
Romanus, who tendered several documents to show how the company was incorporated on August 1, 2016, read out the names of the shareholders of the Company which comprises Aminu Yaro, Maryam Abdullahi and Saadatu Yaro, as joint owners of the entity.
On his part, the second witness, Remigious Ugwu, a Compliance Officer with Zenith Bank Plc, narrated before the court how various sums of money were paid into the account of April1616 Investment Limited by the CBN.
The witness, who told the court that none of the payments had any link with Emefiele’s name, tendered various documents on behalf of the bank, adding that the former CBN governor was not a signatory to the bank account of the company.
Similarly, 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 that his organisation was responsible for ensuring contracts awarded by the apex bank, complied with the Procurement Act.
Owoeye explained that another committee handled the bidding process for the contracts since it was above the threshold that his Committee could handle.
He told the court that the MCTC and Procurement Department were fully functional during Emefiele’s tenure as CBN governor
Meanwhile, Justice Muazu, on Tuesday, adjourned until January 18 and 19, 2024, for the continuation of the trial.
Emefiele’s lawyer, Mathew Burkaa, also said the former apex bank chief is yet to meet his bail conditions.
THEWILL reports that Justice Hamza Muazu had on Wednesday, November 22, granted Emefiele bail in the sum of N300 million and two sureties in like sum.
Emefiele is currently being remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre, pending when he meets his bail conditions.