The trial of Godwin Emefiele, the suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Abuja, has been postponed due to the absence of the second defendant, Sa’adatu Yaro, a female CBN employee, who is said to be indisposed.
The trial pertains to alleged procurement fraud amounting to N6.9 billion.
While Emefiele, the primary defendant, was present in court on Thursday, the absence of Sa’adatu Yaro, the second defendant, led to an application for adjournment. The Presiding Judge, Justice Hamza Muazu, subsequently rescheduled the proceedings to August 23, 2023.
Emefiele’s charges involve 20 counts, including procurement fraud, conspiracy, and conferring corrupt advantages upon associates. Yaro and her company, April1616 Investment Limited, are co-defendants in the case.
Emefiele, who has been in detention since his suspension from office on June 9, 2023, faces accusations of granting corrupt advantages to Sa’adatu Yaro, a director in April 1616 Investment Ltd, which contravenes Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.
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The charges, spearheaded by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mohammed Abubakar, and Deputy Director, Public Prosecution, Mrs. Nkiru Jones-Nebo, outline that the accused individuals collectively procured a fleet of over 98 high-end vehicles and armored buses valued at approximately N6.9 billion between 2018 and 2020.
Key charges against Emefiele include awarding contracts for the supply of vehicles and conferring corrupt advantages upon Sa’adatu Yaro and her company. The allegations underscore the legal gravity of the matter, invoking Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.
Emefiele and Yaro are further implicated in several other charges involving the procurement of vehicles for substantial sums, including Toyota Hilux vehicles, armored Mercedes Benz buses, Toyota Landcruisers, and a Toyota Avalon.
In the midst of these allegations, the legal proceedings highlight the complexity of the case and the determination to ascertain the truth behind the accusations. Meanwhile, a separate legal development has arisen in Lagos, where a Federal High Court is deliberating on the Federal Government’s bid to withdraw an “illegal possession of firearm” charge filed against Emefiele.
As the legal proceedings unfold, the case against Emefiele and Yaro continues to draw significant attention due to the prominence of the individuals involved and the allegations of financial misconduct and corruption at the heart of the Nigerian financial sector.