$4.5bn & £2.8bn fraud: Court grants Emefiele ₦50m bail

Godwin Emefiele in court, granted bail

Akin Kuponiyi

The Ikeja Special Offences Court in Lagos, Friday granted bail to the embattled former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, in the sum of ₦50m with two sureties with landed property in Lagos.

The presiding Judge Rahman Oshodi, also granted accelerated trial in the case, directing that seven out of all prosecution witnesses should give evidence in camera, for protection and security of their lives.

After the ruling, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’s, lawyer, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN told the court that seven of the prosecution witnesses’ lives were in danger and urged for trial in camera.

Emefiele’s co-defendant, Henry Isioma Omoile, in the fresh 26-count charge of $4.5 billion and £2.8 preferred against them also got bail in the sum of ₦1 million with two sureties in like sum.

The fresh charges against them include abuse of office and irregular allocation of cumulative $4.5 billion and £2.8 billion while Emefiele was in office as CBN governor.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) presented 26 charges of fraud and corruption against the defendants to which they pleaded not guilty.

The EFCC lawyer had applied for accelerated trial in the case adding that the case be heard in camera to protect the identity of witnesses 1 to 7, citing Section 373 of the criminal act of Lagos State.

The leading lawyer to the defendants, Mr Abduakeem Labi-Lawal, denied knowledge of the threat allegation,  saying a similar trial had been going on in Abuja, and nobody’s life was threatened.

Further hearing has been adjourned till noon today.