May 27, 2024

Godwin Emefiele Pleads Not Guilty, Granted N300m Bail in Alleged Naira Printing Case




Former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has entered a plea of not guilty to charges of unlawfully printing Naira notes during his tenure at the apex bank. He secured bail worth N300 million after a court hearing on Wednesday.


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) leveled accusations against Emefiele, alleging that he printed N684 million Naira notes, amounting to a total of N18.96 billion, without authorization from former President Muhammadu Buhari. Additionally, the EFCC accused him of unlawfully approving the withdrawal of about N124.8 billion from the consolidated revenue fund.

Emefiele’s plea of not guilty came during a court session presided over by Justice Maryann Anenih of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The prosecution counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, requested a date for the commencement of full hearing, while Emefiele’s legal team led by Mr. Mahmud Magaji sought bail for their client.


Magaji urged the court to grant bail either on self-recognition or based on previous conditions set by another court. He emphasized that the charges against Emefiele were bailable offenses and assured the court of his client’s full cooperation during the trial.


Justice Anenih granted Emefiele bail in the sum of N300 million, with two sureties of equal value. The sureties, resident in Nigeria, must possess landed properties within the Maitama district of Abuja and submit an affidavit of means. Emefiele was also ordered to surrender his international passport and refrain from traveling abroad without court permission.


The court directed that Emefiele be remanded at Kuje prison until all bail conditions were met. The trial is set to commence on May 28 and 29.


The charges against Emefiele include allegations of contravening Section 19 of the CBN Act, 2007, by approving the printing of Naira notes without proper authorization. The EFCC contends that these actions caused injury to the public, constituting offenses under Nigerian law.


Emefiele’s legal battles began with his suspension from office as CBN Governor by President Bola Tinubu on June 9, 2023. Subsequently, he faced arrest by the Department of State Services (DSS) and later the EFCC on charges related to procurement fraud.


Despite initial challenges meeting bail conditions, Emefiele has been released from custody and continues to defend himself against legal proceedings in both Abuja and Lagos.

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