A High Court in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja has granted the immediate past Governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele’s request to travel out of the FCT.
The judge, Hamza Muazu who gave the ruling on Thursday ruled that Mr Emefiele must remain in the country. The former CBN governor is standing trial on six counts bordering on procurement fraud to the tune of N1.2bn.
Emefiele was released from Kuje Correctional Centre on December 23, 2023, 34 days after the judge granted him bail, but restricted to the metropolis of Abuja.
To seek redress, the former CBN governor had approached the court asking for review of some terms of his bail conditions.
Rotimi Oyedepo, the Counsel for the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), did not dispute his request.
However, the prosecution’s attorney instructed the judge to make sure that Mr Emefiele signed a document promising to stay in the nation in the event that his plea was accepted.
Additionally, the accusation against the former CBN governor was changed from six to 20.
The new allegations against Emefiele now include conspiracy to commit procurement fraud, forgery, criminal breach of trust, and conspiracy to commit crime.
He was re-arraigned on a six-count charge bordering on procurement fraud on November 18 and remanded in Kuje Prison. He was accused of corruptly enriching himself as CBN governor by using Sa’adatu Yaro, a staff of CBN, to award a contract for the procurement of 43 vehicles worth N1.2 billion between 2018 and 2020.
According to the charge sheet, the vehicles included 37 Toyota Hilux at the cost of N854.7 million, one Toyota Avalon at the cost of N99.9 million, one Toyota Landcruiser V8 at the cost of N73.8 million, two Toyota Hilux Shell Specification at the cost of N44,200,000.
In a report submitted to President Bola Tinubu last year, Jim Obazee, a special investigator probing CBN and related entities, accused the former CBN boss of using Ways and Means advances by the CBN to enrich himself.
According to the report titled ‘Report of the Special Investigation on CBN and Related Entities (Chargeable Offences)’, Mr Emefile allegedly utilized two Dubai-based companies, Luxis International DMCC (Luxis) and Magna International DMCC (MAGNA), which are owned by Vink Corporation Middle East FZC.
He reportedly used these companies as proxies to establish Titan Trust Bank and to acquire Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN).