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EFCC Begins Fraud Trial of Former CBN Governor Emefiele, Calls Witnesses 

Judge Hamza Muazu adjourned the case till January 18 next year.

The trial of former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele for alleged procurement fraud began Tuesday at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, with the anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission calling three witnesses.

The EFCC had slammed Emefiele with a six-count charge for the purchase of luxury vehicles in the sum of N1.2 billion and for giving what it terms “corrupt advantage” during the procurement process.

One of the three witnesses called by the anti-graft agency is a Deputy Director of the CBN who was secretary of the Major Contracts Tenders Committee headed by the CBN deputy governor. 

During cross examination by Emefiele’s counsel, Matthew Burkaa, the witness said the contracts awarded to April 1616 went through the Procurement Services Department of the CBN and not through the Major Contracts Tenders Committee of the apex bank. 

The witness also added that Emefiele as CBN Governor didn’t have the power to award contracts, stating it was the decision of the CBN Board to make. 

Meanwhile, the trial judge, Hamza Muazu adjourned the case till January 18 next year for continuation of trial.

The former CBN governor was granted bail in the sum of N300milllion with two sureties in like sum, individuals who must own landed properties in highbrow Maitama District of Abuja. The sureties are also expected deposit the Certificate of Occupancy of their properties.

Godfrey Eshiemoghie