Emefiele Trial: Former CBN Director Alleges Millions in Bribes



In a development with significant implications for the ongoing corruption case against Godwin Emefiele, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), a key witness implicated Emefiele in a bribery scheme. John Ayoh, a former Director of Information Technology at the CBN, testified on Monday at the Ikeja Special Offences Court that he collected $600,000 on Emefiele’s behalf from contractors in two installments.

Appearing as the second witness for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ayoh detailed instances where he allegedly facilitated the delivery of the money to Emefiele, claiming it was linked to contract awards. However, under cross-examination by Emefiele’s defense attorney, Olalekan Ojo (SAN), Ayoh admitted to acting under pressure when facilitating the alleged bribes.

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This testimony adds another layer of complexity to Emefiele’s legal situation. The former CBN governor is already facing multiple legal challenges in both Abuja and Lagos. The EFCC is prosecuting him at the Special Offences Court over accusations of abuse of office and accepting bribes totaling $4.5 billion and N2.8 billion.

Emefiele’s defense team, led by Ojo, has contested the court’s jurisdiction in this case, arguing that it lacks the authority to handle matters related to the Constitution. They have urged the court to dismiss specific counts of the indictment against Emefiele.

Ayoh, testifying under the guidance of EFCC prosecutor Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), stated that the first alleged bribe of $400,000 was collected by his assistant, John Adetola, at Ayoh’s residence in Lekki, Lagos State. The details surrounding the second installment of $200,000 remain unclear, with Ayoh claiming he delivered it directly to Emefiele at the CBN headquarters.

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