Fresh troubles for ex- CBN Gov, Emefiele as FG amends alleged fraud charges.
By Kayode Lawal, Abuja.
January 18, 2024
Fresh troubles appear to be in the offing for former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele as the Federal Government again amended the charges against him on offences allegedly committed while in office.
The earlier charges have been increased from six to 20, bordering on forgery, conferring of corrupt advantage, and criminal breach of trust among others.
The Federal Government had initially filed 19 charges against the former CBN governor bordering on N6.9bn procurement fraud but pruned it down to six to the tune of N1.2bn which he is currently standing trial on.
In the amended charge, Emefiele was accused of obtaining the sum of $6.2m by pretence by falsely representing the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
The government said the offence was contrary to section 1(1) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act.
The charge read, “That you, Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele male, adult, and Odoh, Eric Ocheme (Still at large) on or about the 8th day of February 2023 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court knowingly obtained by false pretence, the sum of Six Million, Two Hundred and Thirty Thousand United State Dollar ($6,230,000.00) by falsely representing that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation vide a letter dated 26th January, 2023 with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/201 requested the Central Bank of Nigeria to provide a contingent logistic advance in the sum of $6,230,000.00 “in line with Mr. President’s directive” which representation you knew to be false and you thereby committed an offence.”
He was also accused of conniving with one Eric Ocheme who has been at large to commit forgery.
The government said the offence was contrary to section 96 (1) and punishable under section 364 of the Penal Code Law, Cap 89 Laws Federation, 1990.
It read, “That you, Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele male, adult, and Odoh, Eric Ocheme (Still at large) sometime in January 2023 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court agreed amongst yourselves to cause to be done an illegal act to wit: forgery of a document titled: RE: PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE ON FOREIGN ELECTION OBSERVER MISSIONS dated 26 January 2023 with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/201 and you thereby committed an offence.”
Emefiele was also accused of conferring corrupt advantage on his wife Omoile Margret and Brother In-law Omoile Macombo by awarding a contract for the renovation of a portion of the CBN Governor’s residence in Lagos to the tune of N99.8m.
The government said the offence was contrary to Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.
The charge read, “That you, Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, male, adult, sometime in March 2020 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did use your position as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria to confer a corrupt advantage on your wife, Omoile Margret, and brother-in-law Omoile Macombo by awarding a contract for the external renovation of the CBN Governor’s Residence lying, being and situate at No. 2 Glover Road, Ikoyi, Lagos in the sum of 99,826,452.47 to Messrs. Architekon Nigeria Limited, a company wherein the duo are directors and majority shareholders and you thereby committed an offence. “
Emefiele’s counsel, Mathew Bukka, SAN, pleaded with the court for time, adding that the amended charge was served on them on Wednesday.
The trial judge, Justice Hamza Muazu, adjourned the matter till Friday January 19, for fresh plea of Emefiele to be taken in the new charges.