Godwin Emefiele, the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and his accomplices will be put on trial by the federal government on Thursday at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Abuja for N6.9 billion in procurement fraud.
Emefiele will be charged with 20 counts of procurement fraud, conspiracy, and providing corrupt benefits to his accomplices together with a female CBN employee named Sa’adatu Yaro and her business, April1616 Investment Limited.
The troubled head of the top bank, who has been detained since he was removed from office on June 9, 2023, was charged with giving Yaro, a director of April 1616 Investment Ltd., corrupt favours.
The Corrupt Practises and Other Related Offences Act 2000’s Section 19 is violated by the crime.
The section read, “Any public officer who uses his office or position to gratify or confer any corrupt or unfair advantage upon himself or any relation or associate of the public officer or any other public officer shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for five years without an option of fine.’’
In the charges signed by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mohammed Abubakar; Deputy Director, Public Prosecution, Mrs Nkiru Jones-Nebo and eight other ministry officials, the three accused persons were alleged to have bought a fleet of over 98 exotic vehicles and armoured buses valued at about N6.9bn.
Some of the vehicles bought between 2018 and 2020 included 84 Toyota Hilux vehicles, 10 armoured Mercedes Benz buses, three Toyota Landcruisers and one Toyota Avalon car.
Count one read, “That you, Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, male, adult, sometime in 2018 within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did use your position as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria to confer a corrupt advantage on Sa’adatu Ramallan Yaro, a staff member of the Central Bank of Nigeria by awarding a contract for the supply of 37 (Nos.) Toyota Hilux Vehicles at the cost of N854,700,000 only to April 1616 Investment Ltd, a company in which she is a director and thereby committed an offence.
“Statement of the offence: Conferring corrupt advantage contrary to section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.’’
The Federal Government further accused Emefiele of conspiracy to confer corrupt advantage on the second defendant contrary to sections 26 (c) and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 and punishable under Section 19 of the same Act.
“That you, Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, male, adult, Sa’adatu Ramallan Yaro, female, adult, and April 1616 Investment Ltd, sometime in 2019 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire amongst yourselves to use the office of Mr. Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria to confer a corrupt advantage on Sa’adatu Ramallan Yaro, a staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria by awarding a contract for the supply of 1 (No.) Toyota Landcruiser V8 at the cost of N73,800,000 only to April 1616 Investment Ltd,” the charge stated.