Emefiele's Woes Continues as FG Drags Him to Court Over 6.5bn Procurement Fraud 
Home News Emefiele’s Woes Continue as FG Drags Him to Court Over ₦‎6.5bn Procurement Fraud 
News - August 16, 2023

Emefiele’s Woes Continue as FG Drags Him to Court Over ₦‎6.5bn Procurement Fraud 

The suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, and his associates will be presented before the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, Abuja On Thursday. They are set to face charges related to a procurement fraud totaling  ₦‎6.9 billion. The proceedings scheduled for that day will involve their arraignment and mention in the case.

Emefiele, along with Sa’adatu Yaro and her company, April1616 Investment Limited, will be arraigned on 20 charges. These charges include procurement fraud, conspiracy, and granting corrupt advantages to associates. 

Emefiele, who was detained after his suspension on June 9 by President Bola Tinubu, is accused of providing corrupt benefits to Yaro, a director at April 1616 Investment Ltd. This act is in violation of section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

Emefiele’s possible prison term

Should Emefiele be found guilty, he could face a mandatory five-year prison term with no possibility of a fine. The relevant section states that any public officer who employs their position to bestow corrupt benefits upon themselves, relatives, associates, or other public officers will be deemed guilty. This offense carries a conviction penalty of five years in prison without an alternative to pay a fine.

According to the charges filed by the Director of Public Prosecutions at the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mohammed Abubakar, along with Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Mrs. N Jones-Nebo and eight other ministry officials, the trio is alleged to have purchased an extensive collection of more than 98 high-end vehicles and armored buses, totaling approximately N6.9 billion. 

Among the vehicles acquired between 2018 and 2020 are 84 Toyota Hilux vehicles, 10 armored Mercedes Benz buses, three Toyota Land Cruisers, and one Toyota Avalon car.

Emefiele stated charges

Godwin Emefiele, the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, has multiple charges related to conferring corrupt advantages. He is accused of using his position to award contracts to April 1616 Investment Ltd, a company where Sa’adatu Ramallan Yaro, a Central Bank staff member, serves as a director. 

The charges encompass the supply of vehicles, including 37 Toyota Hilux Vehicles, a Toyota Landcruiser V8, and a Toyota Avalon, with the contracts collectively amounting to millions of Naira. Emefiele is also accused of conspiring with Yaro and the company to provide these corrupt advantages. 

These actions are alleged violations of sections 19 and 26 (c) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000, carrying potential sentences of imprisonment.

Emefiele alongside his associate

Godwin Emefiele allegedly collaborated with Sa’adatu Yaro and reportedly awarded a contract for two Toyota Hilux Shell specification vehicles at a cost of N44.2 million to Yaro’s company in 2020 as well as granting a contract for a Toyota Landcruiser VXR worth N96 million to Yaro and her firm during the same year.

Yaro faces allegations of fraudulent property acquisition by securing a contract for the supply of 47 Toyota Hilux vehicles to April1616 Investment Ltd, a company in which she held a directorial role. The contract was valued at N1,085,700,000.

Count 10 of the charges states that Yaro, while employed at CBN, held a private interest as a director in April1616 Investment Ltd., for the supply of 47 Toyota Hilux vehicles, thereby committing an offense. In Count 11, Yaro, while employed at CBN, is similarly accused of having a private interest as a director in April1616 Investment Ltd. for a contract involving 10 Mercedes Benz armored buses at the cost of N2,222,500,000, resulting in another alleged offense.

Witnesses against the defendants

Witnesses listed against the defendants include CBN’s Stanley Alvan, Mike Agboro, Tahir Jafar, and David Usman. A Federal High Court in Lagos has scheduled a ruling for withdrawing firearms charges against Emefiele. 

The defense argues that the charges should not be withdrawn due to non-compliance with court orders and requests a formal nolle prosequi. The prosecution cites section 108 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015. Emefiele was previously granted bail for illegal firearm possession charges but was rearrested by DSS operatives.

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