Alleged procurement fraud: EFCC calls 3 witnesses in trial of Emefiele

Date:

Abuja, Nov.28,2023 .

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The trial of suspended fCentral Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele on Tuesday began in an FCT high court, with the EFCC calling three witnesses.

The EFCC charged Emefiele with six counts bordering on alleged breach of procurement procedure in the award of the contract to April1616 Investment Limited.

The anti-graft agency had in August, first charged Emefiele and one Mrs Sa’adatu Yaro and a company, April 1616 Investment Limited, purported to belong to Mrs Yaro, on alleged breach of the procurement Act in respect of the purchase of some vehicles.

However, the arraignment could not go on because of the reported ill health of Yaro.

However, when the matter was called on Friday, EFCC’s lawyer, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, drew the attention of the court to an amended charge dated Nov. 8, 2023.

In the new charge Emefiele was the sole defendant and the charge reduced from 20 to six, to which Emefiele pleaded not guilty.

At the resumed trial, the first prosecution witness (PW 1) Shamsudeen Abulili testified

The witness, an officer of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) gave evidence on how the company April 1616 Investment Limited was incorporated on August 1, 2016 with RC : 1350837and tendered several documents on how the company was floated.

He read out before the Court names of the shareholders of the Company which comprised Aminu Idris Yaro, with 500,000 shares, Maryam Aliyu Abdullahi, 350,000 and Saadatu Yaro , 150, 000.

He said the total share of 1 million at N1 each.

Led in evidence by EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo , SAN the witness said that Emefiele’s name was not in anyway connected with the company.

The witness explained that although CAC was responsible for incorporation of the company, it however has no roles in the day to day running of affairs of the entity.

The second witness, Remigious Ugwu, a Compliance Officer with Zenith Bank told the court on how various sums of money in millions of naira were paid by the CBN into the April1616 Investment Limited.

Specifically, he told the court how on Oct.19, 2020, a sum of N39, 060, 465. another N421, 953, 488 on Nov. 6, 2020 and the third one N304, 883, 720 was paid on Nov. 23, 2020 to the same company by CBN.

Similarly, he said that N304, 883, 720 was paid on January 1, 2021 and another N304, 883, 720 paid the same company on March 23, 2021 by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

He admitted that non of the payments has any link with Emefiele’s name while also that he did not know the purpose of the payments.

The witness who tendered various documents on behalf of the bank said that the former CBN governor was not a signatory to the bank account of the company.

The third witness, Oluwole Owoeye, a Deputy Director, Banking Services with CBN and former Secretary to Major Contract Tendering Committee MCTC of the CBN said that his body was responsible for ensuring of compliance with Procurement Act told the court by CBN in the award of contracts.

When cross examined by Emefiele ‘s counsel, Matthew Burkaa, SAN, Owoeye informed the court that his committee was not involved in the vetting of bidding for the award of contracts that led to prosecution of Emefiele.

The witness explained that another committee handled the bidding because it was above the thresholds of his own Committee

” My Lord, all I know is through our records is that contracts for award of vehicle supplies were awarded to April1616 but I cannot say whether the contracts were executed or paid for because my Committee played no role”

He admitted that MCTC and Procurement Department were fully functional while Emefiele held sway as CBN governor.

After listening to these testimonies , Justice Hamza Muazu adjourned until Jan.18 and Jan.19 2023.

The suspended CBN governor was accused of conferring corrupt advantages on a staff of CBN, Yaro through awards of vehicle supply contracts worth over N1.2 bn contrary to section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act 2000.. (www.naija247news.com)

Peter Okafor
Peter Okaforhttp://Naija247news.com
Peter Okafor Financial Journalist | Editor | Contributor Overview: Peter Okafor is a seasoned Financial Journalist, astute Editor, and valued Contributor at Naija247news Media Group. With an unwavering passion for dissecting complex financial landscapes, Peter has become a trusted name in delivering incisive and insightful coverage of economic events, market trends, and corporate dynamics. Professional Journey Peter's journey in financial journalism has been marked by a commitment to excellence. Joining the ranks of Naija247news, he has consistently demonstrated a keen understanding of the intricate interplay between finance and the global socio-economic fabric. Expertise: Specializing in financial markets, economic analyses, and business developments, Peter Okafor has honed his expertise over the years. His ability to unravel intricate financial narratives and present them in a comprehensible manner sets him apart in the world of financial journalism. Contributions As an Editor and Contributor, Peter has played a pivotal role in shaping the narrative of Naija247news. His contributions extend to thought-provoking articles, in-depth market analyses, and coverage of key events that impact the financial landscape. Educational Background: Peter holds a degree in Journalism, complemented by specialized courses in Finance and Business Reporting. His educational foundation has provided him with the tools to navigate the intricate world of financial journalism. Innovation and Adaptability: In an era of evolving media landscapes, Peter Okafor exemplifies innovation and adaptability. Leveraging digital platforms and emerging technologies, he ensures that financial insights reach a diverse audience, fostering financial literacy and awareness. Awards and Recognition: Peter's commitment to journalistic excellence has not gone unnoticed. He has been the recipient of several awards, recognizing his outstanding contributions to the field of financial journalism. Vision for the Future: Looking ahead, Peter Okafor envisions a future where financial journalism continues to empower individuals, shape economic policies, and drive positive change. His dedication to staying at the forefront of financial news underscores his commitment to this vision. Connect with Peter Okafor: - LinkedIn: [Peter Okafor](#) - Twitter: [@PeterOkafor_N247](#) In the dynamic realm of financial journalism, Peter Okafor stands as a stalwart, combining experience, expertise, and a forward-looking vision to illuminate the path of financial understanding for a global audience.

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