Court grants Emefiele N300m bail in trial on naira notes printing

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A federal capital territory high court has granted bail to Godwin Emefiele, former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in the sum of N300 million.

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Emefiele on a four-count charge before MaryAnn Anenih, the presiding judge, on Tuesday.

Emefiele pleaded not guilty to the four-count charge when it was read to him.

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Moving an application for bail, Mahmud Magaji, counsel to Emefiele, asked the court to grant his client bail on self-recognition and on the same grounds and conditions of bail already granted him by a coordinate court presided over by Hamza Muazu.

He added that the defendant will always be in court to face trial.

In her ruling, Anenih granted the former CBN governor bail in the sum of N300 million, with two sureties in like sum.

The court said the sureties must be residents of Nigeria and owners of properties within the Maitama district of Abuja, and that they must possess an affidavit of means.

Emefiele has also been asked to deposit his travel documents before the court. He is not permitted to leave the country without the permission of the court.

Anenih added that Emefiele should be remanded at Kuje Correctional Centre pending the fulfilment of his bail conditions.

The case has been adjourned to May 28 and 29 for continuation of trial.

The anti-graft agency is accusing Emefiele of “illegal” printing of naira notes in its fresh charge.

According to the charge sheet, EFCC alleges that Emefiele “disobeyed the direction of law with intent to cause injury to the public” by approving the printing of naira notes without “strict approval” from former President Muhammadu Buhari and the CBN board.

Emefiele is alleged to have approved the printing of N684.5 million notes at the rate of N18.96 billion.

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Emefiele arraigned for ‘printing N684m with N18.96bn’, pleads not guilty
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MAY 15, 2024 9:53 AM
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Godwin Emefiele, former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has been arraigned on a fresh four-count charge by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The former CBN governor was arraigned before Maryann Anenih, judge of a federal capital territory (FCT) high court, and pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

The anti-graft agency is accusing Emefiele of “illegal” printing of naira notes in its fresh charge.

In the charge sheet seen by TheCable, EFCC alleges that Emefiele “disobeyed the direction of law with intent to cause injury to the public” by approving the printing of naira notes without “strict approval” from former President Muhammadu Buhari and the CBN board.

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The anti-graft agency also accused Emefiele of approving the withdrawal of N124.8 billion from the consolidated revenue fund “in a manner not prescribed by the national assembly”.

The full charges are:

“That you GODWIN IFEANYI EMEFIELE between the 19th day of October 2022 and 5th March 2023 in Abuja, knowingly disobeyed the direction of Section 19 of the CBN Act, 2007, by approving the printing of N375,520,000.00 pieces of colour swapped N1, 000, at the total cost of N11,052, 068,062 without the recommendation of the Board of Central Bank and the strict approval of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria which conduct of yours caused injury to the public and you thereby committed an offence,” the charge sheet reads.

“That you, GODWIN IFEANYI EMEFIELE, between the 19th of October 2022 and 5th March 2023 in Abuja, knowingly disobeyed the direction of Section 19 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007, by approving the printing of 172,000,000 pieces of colour swapped N500 (Five Hundred Naira) Notes, at the total cost of N4, 471,066,040 without the recommendation of the Board of Central Bank and the strict approval of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria which conduct of yours caused injury to the public and you thereby committed an offence.

“That you GODWIN IFEANYI EMEFIELE between the 19th day of October 2022 and 5th March 2023 in Abuja, knowingly disobeyed the direction of Section 19 of the CBN Act, 2007, by approving the printing of 137,070,000 pieces of colour swapped N200 (Two Hundred Naira) Note, at the total cost of N3, 441, 005, 280 without the recommendation of the Board of Central Bank and the strict approval of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria which conduct of yours caused injury to the public and you thereby committed an offence.

“That you, GODWIN IFEANYI EMEFIELE, on or about the 7th day of October 2020, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, knowingly disobeyed the direction of Section 80 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended), by approving the withdrawal of the total sum of N124, 860, 227, 865.16 from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation in a manner not prescribed by the National Assembly, which conduct of yours caused injury to the public and you thereby committed an offence.”

NAIRA REDESIGN CONTROVERSY

On October 26, 2022, Emefiele announced the plan to redesign the highest denominations of the country’s currency to control money supply and aid security agencies in tackling illicit financial flows.

Emefiele had said the new notes (N200, N500, and N1000) would be effective from mid-December 2022, advising customers to deposit their old notes before January 31, 2023, when they would cease to be legal tender.

The scarcity of old naira notes sparked violent protests in many parts of the country as banks and automated teller machines (ATMs) were torched.

Many analysts had argued that the naira redesign policy was politically motivated.

The supreme court, however, quashed the deadline given by the CBN for the old notes. The apex court also ordered that both old and new notes can be used as legal tender indefinitely.

 

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