For the inability to provide the N300 million bail condition given by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, will remain in prison.
The FCT High Court, on Tuesday, also adjourned till January 18, 2024, the continuation of the trial in the alleged procurement fraud suit against the former CBN Governor.
Emefiele, put on trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) , is standing trial on a six count amended charge on alleged procurement of vehicles awarded to April1616 Investment Limited.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
He was granted bail on November 17, 2023 to the tune of N300m and two sureties and remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre, pending when he meets his bail conditions.
However, at today’s hearing, the Prosecution Witness, Samsideen Romanus, who is a top official of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) told the court that Emefiele was not the owner or a shareholder of the Limited which was awarded a N1.2 billion vehicle supply contract by CBN under Emefiele.
He was led in evidence by EFCC lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo , while tendering several documents on how the company was incorporated on August 1, 2016.
Romanus further read out the names of the shareholders of the Company which comprises of Aminu Yaro, Maryam Abdullahi and Saadatu Yaro as joint owners of the entity.
The witness explained that although CAC was responsible for the incorporation of the company, it, however, has no role 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 how various sums of money in millions of naira were paid by the CBN into the April1616 Investment Limited.
Specifically, he told Justice Hamza how, on October 19, 2020, a sum of N39,060,465, another N421,953,488 on November 6, 2020, and the third one N304,883,720 was paid on November 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 to the same company on March 23, 2021, by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He admitted that none of the payments had any links to Emefiele’s name while also clarifying that he did not know the purpose of the payments.
The witness who tendered various documents on behalf of the bank said 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 the Major Contract Tendering Committee (MCTC) of the CBN, said his body was responsible for ensuring compliance with the Procurement Act in the award of contracts.
Owoeye, however, informed the court that his committee was not involved in the vetting of bidding for the award of contracts that led to the 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 through our records is that contracts for the 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 said.
He admitted that the MCTC and Procurement Department were fully functional while Emefiele held sway as CBN governor.
See the six count charge against Emefiele below:
That you, Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, male, adult…
1. Corruptly confer an advantage on Sa’adatu Ramallan Yaro, a staff of the CBN, by awarding contract for the supply of 37 Hilux vehicles at cost of ₦854.7m in 2018
2. Corruptly confer an advantage on a company where a CBN Staff is a director by awarding a contract for the supply of one Toyota Avallon at the cost of ₦99.0m
3. Conferring corrupt advantage contrary to Section 16 of ICPC Act Toyota Landcruiser V8 in 2019 at the cost of ₦73.0m
4. Illegal award for the supply of Toyota Land cruiser V8: ₦73.8m
5. Award of contract for supply of 2 Toyota Hilux in 2020: ₦44.2m
6. Illegal purchases of 43 vehicles between 2018 & 2020: ₦1.2bn
Company involved: April1616 Investment Ltd.