‘Procurement Fraud’: Emefiele’s Absence Stalls Arraignment In Abuja
The scheduled arraignment of Godwin Emefiele, suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) high court in Maitama has again been stalled.
The arraignment which was initially scheduled for August 17, was stalled due to the absence of Sa’adatu Yaro, Emefiele’s co-accused.
The case was then adjourned to August 23.
However, the case was not listed on the court’s cause list on Wednesday.
Neither the suspended CBN governor nor the second defendant were present in court.
Emefiele and Yaro, an employee of the CBN, are to be arraigned alongside a firm known as April1616 Investment Ltd.
In the fresh 20-count charge filed by the federal ministry of justice, the suspended CBN governor and his co-defendants are accused of engaging in conspiracy and procurement fraud, among others.
WITHDRAWAL OF FIREARMS CHARGE
Emefiele has been in the custody of the Department of States Services (DSS) since June.
On July 25, he was arraigned on a two-count charge bordering on “illegal possession” of firearms at a federal high court in Ikoyi and was granted bail in the sum of N20 million.
Nicholas Oweibo, the judge, had ordered that Emefiele be kept in the custody of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) pending the fulfillment of his bail conditions.
But the DSS insisted that Emefiele must return to its custody — a development that led to the face-off between the secret police and prison officials.
After the face-off, DSS rearrested Emefiele on the court premises.
On August 3, the federal government filed an application seeking leave to appeal against the order granting bail to Emefiele.
However, on August 15, the federal government made an oral application to withdraw the charge of “illegal possession of firearms” against Emefiele.
Mohammed Abubakar, the director of public prosecution (DPP) of the federation, said the decision to withdraw the charge is backed by sections 174 (1) and (3) of the 1999 constitution and sections 108 (1), (2) and (4) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015.
On August 17, the court granted the federal government’s application and struck out the charge.