Emefiele head back to Kuje Prison, fails to perfect bail conditions
Former (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele has not been able to perfect the N300 million bail granted him by a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on November 22.
He was returned to Kuje prisons straight from the court yesterday.
Emefiele is standing trial on a five-count charged filed against him by the Federal Government through the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation.
The ex-CBN governor was accused of “conferring corrupt advantage” on himself, contrary to Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act 2000.
Emefiele, who is being held in Kuje Prison, was brought to court yesterday by heavily armed prison officials.
One of his lawyers confined the development and explained that efforts were being made to ensure the bail was perfected before the end of this week.
The prosecution opened its case yesterday by calling three witnesses – Shamsudeem Abulili, an official of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC); Remigious Ugwu, a Compliance Officer with Zenith Bank Plc; and Oluwole Owoeye, who is a Deputy Director of Banking Services with CBN and former Secretary to Major Contract Tendering Committee (MCTC) of the apex bank – who were also cross-examined.
Abulili, the first prosecution witness (PW1) who was led in evidence by prosecuting lawyer Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), noted that the company to which Emefiele was accused of awarding contracts – Aril 1616 Investment Limited – was incorporated as a company limited by shares on August 1, 2016.
The witness said the directors of the company are: Aminu Idris Yaro, Maryam Aliyu Abdullah, and Sa’adatu Ramalan Yaro, who appeared as the Company Secretary on the registration documents.
Under cross-examination by lawyer to Emefiele, Mathew Burkaa (SAN), Abulili admitted that Emefiele was not listed as either a director or shareholder of the company.
The witness said although the CAC was responsible for the company’s incorporation of April 1616 Investment, it did not play any roles in the day to day running of the affairs of the company.
Ugwu, who was the second prosecution witness (PW2), told the court that his bank (Zenith Bank) got an investigation request from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to produce some documents on some customers, including April 1616 Investment Limited, which he said were supplied to the commission.
The witness was asked to read from the statement of account of April 1616 Investment Limited, earlier rendered and admitted as exhibits, which he did.
Ugwu said on October 19, 2020, there was an inflow of N39,060,465.11 from the CBN to the company’s account.
He said there was another inflow of N121,953,488.34 into the account on November 6, 2020, while N304,883,720.85 was paid on November 23, 2020 to the same company by the CBN.
Abulili added that on January 22, 2021 an inflow of N304,883,720.85 from CBN was made to April 1616, while another N304,883,720.85 was paid to company on March 23, 2021 by CBN.
Under cross-examination, the witness admitted that the defendant’s name was not on the company’s account mandate and that he was not a signatory to the account.
Abulili said he did not know what the payments made by the CBN were all about, adding that he did not know the purpose for which the payments were made.
Owoeye, who was the third prosecution witness (PW3), told the court that the committee was set up after the enactment of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.
He said the Major Contract Tendering Committee (MCTC) had nine members as directors but headed by CBN Deputy Governor.
The witness added that the committee was responsible for ensuring compliance with the Procurement Act by the CBN in the award of contracts.
Owoeye gave a detailed explanation about the procedures adopted by the committee in choosing prospective winners of contract bids and added that there were evaluation criteria which formed the basis for the bids.
The witness said part of the criteria was that no director of a bidding company was a staff member of CBN, and that a company that had a staff member of CBN would not be allowed to participate in the bidding process.
Oyedepo later tendered documents, marked F1 to F45 through the Owoeye, which were admitted as exhibits by the court.
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