Godwin Emefiele, former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has been arraigned at the federal capital territory high court in Abuja, on a six-count charge bordering on procurement fraud.
Thereafter, he was remanded at the Kuje correctional facility pending ruling on his bail application on November 22.
Emefiele pleaded “not guilty” to the amended charge.
Dressed in a light blue traditional outfit, Emefiele showed up in the courtroom around 10 am.
The federal government had reduced the criminal charges preferred against the former apex bank governor to six.
The trial has been stalled thrice so far. On Wednesday, the trial was stalled due to the nationwide strike embarked upon by organised labour.
Although the amended charge marked CR/577/2023 still borders on procurement fraud, the counts were reduced with Emefiele as the sole defendant.
Additionally, the purported procurement fraud’s value was lowered from N6.9 billion to N1.6 billion.
Emefiele was accused of using his position to confer a corrupt advantage on Yaro by awarding a contract for the procurement of 43 vehicles worth N1.2 billion between 2018 and 2020.
They include 37 Toyota Hilux vehicles at the cost of N854.7 million, one Toyota Avalon at the cost of N99.9 million, one Toyota Landcruiser V8 at the cost of N73.8 million, two Toyota Hilux Shell Specification vehicles at the cost of N44,200,000.
He was also alleged to have awarded Yaro a contract for the procurement of two Toyota Landcruiser VXR V8 worth N138 million.
On November 8, Emefiele was granted bail and released, after spending 151 days in detention.
THE TRIALS OF EMEFIELE
Emefiele was arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) in June after being handed a suspension by President Bola Tinubu.
On July 25, he was arraigned on a two-count charge bordering on “illegal possession” of firearms at a federal high court in Ikoyi and was granted bail in the sum of N20 million.
However, he was rearrested by the DSS in the court premises on the same day.
In August, the court struck out the suit after the federal government filed an application to withdraw the charge of “illegal possession of firearms” against Emefiele.
A fresh 20-count charge was then filed before the FCT high court by the federal ministry of justice.