Former CBN governor Emefiele freed from Kuje facility

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Former CBN governor Emefiele freed from Kuje facility

By Jimisayo Opanuga

Godwin Emefiele and his lawyers. Photo: TheCable.ng

 

Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has been released from the Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja after meeting his bail conditions.

The development was confirmed on Saturday by Adamu Duza, spokesperson for the correctional facility, stating that Emefiele was released on Friday, December 22.
Emefiele, who served as CBN chief from 2014 to 2023, was arrested in June by the Department of State Services (DSS), the day after he was suspended as CBN governor by President Bola Tinubu.
He has since remained in custody and was later arraigned on a 20-count charge of procurement fraud.
The charges were later reduced to one, accusing him of awarding a contract for the purchase of 43 vehicles worth N1.2 billion to a female employee of CBN and her company.
Emefiele was also charged alongside Sa’adatu Yaro, a female employee of CBN, and her company, April 1616 Investment.

Following his plea of “not guilty,” Emefiele was remanded in the Kuje correctional facility in November pending a ruling on his bail application.
On Wednesday, November 22, a federal capital territory high court granted him bail in the sum of N300 million, with strict conditions including two sureties with property within the Maitama district of Abuja.
Emefiele’s release comes amidst ongoing investigations into his tenure at the CBN, where he was accused of operating 593 bank accounts in the United States, the United Kingdom, and China, where Nigerian funds were allegedly kept without authorization by the CBN’s Board and Investment Committee.
According to a report by Jim Obazee, a special investigator appointed by the president, billions of naira were allegedly stolen from the CBN’s accounts by Emefiele and other officials, including a “fraudulent cash withdrawal of $6.23 million” just before the 2023 elections.
“The former governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, invested Nigeria’s money without authorization in 593 foreign bank accounts in the United States, China and the United Kingdom while he was in charge,” the report said.
“All the accounts where the billions were lodged have all been traced by the investigator.”

The investigation report stated that in the United Kingdom, 543.4 million pounds were kept by Emefiele in fixed deposit accounts, noting that Emefiele manipulated the Naira exchange rate and committed fraud in the CBN’s e-Naira project.
It also disclosed the embezzlement of $6.23 million from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s vault between February 7 and 8, just two weeks before the presidential and National Assembly elections.
The funds were reportedly released under the pretext of presidential approval for payments to foreign election observers.

 

Source: Guardian Newspaper

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