Emefiele Released From Detention After Meeting Bail Conditions

Former Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has regained his freedom from the Kuje Correctional Centre following the successful fulfillment of his bail conditions, as confirmed by his legal counsel, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mathew Burkaa.
Justice Hamza Muazu of the FCT High Court granted Emefiele bail amounting to N300 million with two sureties in like sum.
The charges against him involve procurement fraud and allegedly using his position to confer corrupt advantages, particularly awarding a contract for 43 vehicles worth N1.2 billion between 2018 and 2020 to Sa’adatu Yaro, a CBN staff.
While on bail, Emefiele was required to surrender all travel documents to the court registrar and restrict his movements to the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).
The trial for the alleged vehicle procurement has commenced before Justice Hamza Muazu.
Emefiele’s Journey to Detention, Legal Developments
Former Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, faced a series of legal challenges that led to his detention and subsequent release.
Emefiele was initially taken into custody by the Department of State Services (DSS) in June after his suspension as CBN governor by President Bola Tinubu.
The DSS spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, confirmed the arrest, emphasizing caution in media coverage.
“The Department of State Services (DSS) hereby confirms that Mr Godwin Emefiele, the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is now in its custody for some investigative reasons.
“The public, particularly the Media, is enjoined to apply utmost caution in the reportage and narratives concerning this.”
Emefiele then challenged his detention through a fundamental human rights suit at the FCT High Court in Abuja. Justice Hamza Muazu, ruling on the case, issued a one-week ultimatum to the DSS to either charge him or release him.
Subsequently, in July, the Federal Government filed a two-count charges against Emefiele for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition before the Federal High Court in Lagos.
He was accused of possessing a single-barrel shotgun (JOJEFF MAGNUM 8371) without a licence.
The government maintained that the offence is contrary to Section 4 of the Firearms Act, Cap F28 Laws of the Federation 2004, and punishable under Section 27 (1b) of the same Act.
In the second count, the suspended CBN Governor was accused of having in his possession 123 rounds of live ammunition (Cartridges) without a licence, which is contrary to Section 8 of the Firearms Act Cap F28 Laws of the Federation 2004 and punishable under Section 27 (1)(b)(il) of the same Act.
However, on August 17, Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court struck out the firearm possession charge following the Ministry of Justice’s application to withdraw it, asserting statutory powers for such withdrawals.
Emefiele Faces Fresh Allegations After Withdrawal of Illegal Firearm Suit
After the withdrawal of the illegal firearm possession suit against Godwin Emefiele, the Federal Government arraigned him on a six-count charge related to an alleged N1.6 billion fraud.
The charges were reduced from the original 20 counts amounting to N6.5 billion. Emefiele, the sole defendant in the new charge, pleaded not guilty to the six counts.
On November 22, Justice Hamza Muazu of the FCT High Court granted Emefiele bail at N300 million with two sureties in like sum, requiring certificates of occupancy and property titles within the Maitama District.
Additional conditions included depositing all travel documents with the court registrar and restricting his movement to the Abuja Municipal Council.
Emefiele secured his release from Kuje Correctional Centre after meeting these bail conditions.
However, fresh allegations emerged after a Special Investigator, Jim Obazee, probed the CBN. Obazee accused Emefiele of embezzlement and financial offences, alleging fraudulent cash withdrawal, manipulation of exchange rates, and keeping £543.4 million in the UK.
The naira redesign, causing scarcity, was deemed a violation of the CBN Act. Obazee recommended prosecution for financial offences, including his deputy governors.
These accusations come amid Emefiele’s ongoing trial for N1.2 billion procurement fraud, initiated by the EFCC. Emefiele and his legal team have consistently denied any wrongdoing in response to previous allegations.
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