Court remands Emefiele over alleged $4.5 billion, N2.8 billion fraud, abuse of office

ABUJA- Justice Rahman Oshodi of the Ikeja Special Offences Court remanded Godwin Emefiele, the former Central Bank of Nigeria governor, on Monday for alleged abuse of office.

His co-defendant, Henry Isioma-Omoile, was remanded in Ikoyi prison custody, where he is currently held pending the determination of their bail application on April 11.

In his two bail applications, the defendants’ counsel, A. Labi-Lawal, had urged the court to grant the defendants bail on self-recognisance and liberal terms pending the determination of the case.

In his 31 affidavits, Mr Labi-Lawal said the first defendant (Mr Emefiele) had complied with the bail Justice Muazu granted him in his alleged fraud trial case in Abuja.

He said the charges were bailable offences and not a capital offence.

“Though the first defendant was granted administrative bail by the prosecuting authority. He is seeking bail based on self-recognition (sic), and he is ready to attend the court.

“The court should also take into consideration the status of the first defendant as he was the former CBN governor of the country,” he said.

The defence counsel said his client had religiously presented himself before Justice Muazu in Abuja to answer the allegations.

According to him, the first defendant was not at flight risk, as he was the first person to arrive in court.

He also prayed the court to release Mr Emefiele to a lawyer, pending the determination of the bail.

Mr Emefiele and his co-defendant pleaded not guilty to the 26-count charge bordering on abuse of office, accepting gratification, accepting gifts through agents, corruption, and fraudulent property receipt.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty following their arraignment.

The EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, did not oppose the bail application moved by the defence counsel.

Mr Oyedepo, however, urged the court to exercise its discretion judiciously in granting bail to the defendants.

The prosecution had asked the court for a trial date following the defendants’ plea.

(NAN)

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