UPDATED: Alleged unlawful printing of new naira notes: Emefiele gets N300m bail

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A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) sitting in Maitama on Wednesday, May 15, granted bail at N300 million to the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.

Emefiele was arraigned before the court on a four-count charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In the charge, marked: CR/264/2024 Emefiele is among others, accused of approving the printing of new naira notes between October 2022 and March 2023 without recourse to due process of law.

He was also accused of 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.

The alleged offences are said to be contrary to and punishable under Section 123 of the Penal Code Law, Cap. 89 Laws of the Federation, 1990.

On Wednesday, when the charge was read to Emefiele, who is listed as the sole defendant, he pleaded not guilty.

Following his plea of not guilty, prosecuting lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN) sought a date for the commencement of trial.

Defence lawyer, Mahmud Magaji (SAN) moved the bail application filed for the defendant.

Magaji prayed the court to either grant his client bail on self-recognizance or to adopt the term of the bail earlier granted Emefiele by another judge of the court, Justice Hamza Muazu, before whom the ex-Governor of CBN is standing trial on another charge

Oyedepo, who did not oppose the bail application, urged the court to admit the defendant to bail on conditions that would ensure he did not run from trial.

The prosecuting lawyer said from the conduct of the defendant so far, he did not appear as someone who will not make himself available for trial.

Ruling, Justice Maryanne Anenih granted Emefiele bail at N300 million with two sureties in like sums each.

Justice Anenih said the sureties, who are to submit their recent passports, must each have titled property within Maitama, valued at the bail sum.

She ordered the defendant to deposit his travel documents with the court and should not travel outside the country without the permission of the court.

The judge adopted the conditions attached to the bail earlier granted to Emefiele by Justice Muazu.

Justice Anenih said it would suffice if Emefiele was able to produce certified true copies (CTCs) of the documents he submitted in fulfillment of the bail earlier granted by Justice Muazu.

She adjourned till May 28 for the commencement of trial.

The charge reads:

Count One:

Statement of offence – Public servant disobeying the direction of law with intent to cause injury to the public contrary to and punishable under Section 123 of the Penal Code Law, Cap. 89 Laws of the Federation, 1990.

*Particulars of the 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 Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007, by approving the printing of 375, 520, 000 pieces of colour swapped N1,000 notes, 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.

Count two:

Statement of offence –  Public Servant disobeying direction of law with intent to cause injury to the public contrary to and punishable under Section 123 of the Penal Code Law, Cap. 89 Laws of the Federation, 1990.

*Particulars of the offence: That you Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, between 19th day 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 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.

Count three:

Statement of offence – Public servant disobeying the direction of law with intent to cause injury to the public contrary to and punishable under Section 123 of the Penal Code Law, Cap. 89 Laws of the Federation, 1990.

*Particulars of the offence: That you Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele between 19th day 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 137,070,000  pieces of colour swapped N200 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.

Count four:

Public servant disobeying the direction of law with intent to cause injury to the public contrary to and punishable under Section 123 of the Penal Code Law, Cap. 89 Laws of the Federation, 1990.

*That you Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele on or about the 7th day of October, 2020, in Abuja, 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.

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