Home Politics Emefiele pleads not guilty to amended 20-count charges

Emefiele pleads not guilty to amended 20-count charges

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The immediate past Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele has pleaded not guilty to the amended 20-count charges of criminal breach of trust, forgery, conspiracy to obtain by false pretense, and obtaining money by false pretense.

The charges were brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, where the trial is taking place, granted Emefiele’s legal team’s plea to maintain the bail conditions earlier granted to him.

Justice Hamza Muazu scheduled the commencement of the trial for February 12, 2024.

Initially arraigned on November 17, 2023, on a six-count charge related to leveraging his position for corrupt advantages, Emefiele had been granted bail on November 22, 2023.

However, last Thursday, he was re-arraigned under the amended charges.

 

 

Citing Section 221 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, which states that objections shall not be taken during the proceeding on the ground of an imperfect or erroneous charge, Burkaa raised concerns about the construction of the revised version.

The prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), countered, asserting that the objection was premature at the stage of plea-taking. Justice Muazu clarified that objections to the validity of the charge could be raised after the plea has been taken, as per Section 396 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.

The amended 20-count charges against Emefiele include allegations of conferring corrupt advantages, awarding contracts to a company connected to a CBN staff member, and using his position to benefit his wife and brother-in-law through various contracts.

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