• As siblings withdraw case against AGF, DSS
Arraignment of the suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, over alleged procurement fraud stalled again, yesterday, The arraignment was to be held at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Abuja. The matter, however, was not on the list.
The case had been scheduled for hearing at the last adjournment, following the absence of co-defendant, Sa’adatu Ramalan-Yaro. The Guardian gathered from an authoritative source that the arraignment was shifted at the instance of the detained former CBN boss. It was said the duo may have opted for a plea bargain with the Federal Government.
Emefiele was charged alongside Ramalan-Yaro and her company, April 1616 Investment Limited. In the charge, she was described as a CBN staff, upon whom Emefiele allegedly conferred corrupt advantages through award of contracts to her company for the supply of cars. The alleged transactions took place between 2018 and 2020. Both stand accused of conspiracy and procurement fraud totaling N6.9 billion.
Emefiele has been in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) since June10, a day after President Bola Tinubu suspended him from office.
Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000, under which Emefiele was charged, provides a five-year jail sentence upon conviction.
“Any public officer who uses his office or position to gratify or confer any corrupt or unfair advantage upon himself or any relation or associate of the public officer or any other public officer shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for five years without an option of fine,” the law stipulates.
Also, Justice E. Okpe of the FCT High Court, Abuja, struck out a joint case against DSS and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) by Emefiele’s siblings, George and Okanta.
This followed withdrawal of the case by the two, after filing a notice of discontinuance. The Emefiele siblings took the AGF and DSS to court over infringement on fundamental human rights regarding the embattled ex-CBN chief. The AGF and DSS did not oppose the withdrawal.