TODAY’s expected arraignment of the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, over an alleged procurement fraud to the tune of N6.9 billion, has again been stalled.
The matter was not listed on the cause list of a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Abuja on Wednesday with no reason given as lawyers to both parties were absent in court. It was gathered that the suspended apex bank chief seems to have opted for plea bargain with the government.
The suspended CBN governor, who appeared before the court last Thursday, was supposed to be arraigned but the arraignment was stalled due to the absence of the second defendant who was said to have been indisposed.
Although Emefiele (the first defendant) was present in court, the second defendant, a female CBN employee, Sa’adatu Yaro, was not in court. Following an application for adjournment, the Presiding Judge, Justice Hamza Muazu adjourned the matter to August 23, 2023.
MarketForces Africa reported that The Nigerian government had initially scheduled last week Thursday to arraign Emefiele and his allies for their alleged involvement in procurement fraud.
He was supposed to be arraigned alongside a female CBN employee, Sa’adatu Yaro and her company, April1616 Investment Limited at the FCT High Court in Abuja. The arraignment was, however, adjourned until August 23 due to the absence of some of the defendants who joined in the charge, especially the second defendant, Yaro.
Counsel to the government and Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation, Mohammed Abubakar, had told Justice Hamza Muazu that Yaro took ill in the morning of last week Thursday, hence her absence. The suspended apex bank chief, Yaro and her company were charged on 20 charges of procurement fraud, conspiracy and conferring corrupt advantages on his associates.
Emefiele was accused of conferring corrupt advantages on Yaro who is a director in April 1616 Investment Ltd with the offence said to be contrary to Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.