Former CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele Faces Charges of Obtaining $6.23 Million by False Pretence

Amended charge filed by the Attorney-General of the Federation alleges criminal breach of trust, forgery, and conspiracy.

The Federal Government has brought charges against the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, accusing him of obtaining $6.23 million through false pretence.

The amended charge, dated January 17 and filed by Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN) on behalf of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), includes accusations of criminal breach of trust, forgery, conspiracy to obtain by false pretence, and obtaining money by false pretence.

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Emefiele is alleged to have collaborated with Odoh Eric Ocheme (currently at large) to obtain $6.23 million in the name of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. The prosecution further contends that he awarded multi-million naira contracts to a company in which his wife, Omoile Margaret, and brother-in-law, Omoile Macombo, hold directorial roles and are major shareholders.

Among the charges, Emefiele is also accused of forging a document titled “Re: Presidential Directive on Foreign Election Observer Missions,” dated January 26, 2023, claiming it originated from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

The proceedings took place before Justice Hamza Muazu of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama. The charges of obtaining by false pretence were added to the 14 counts, expanding on the initial six charges filed against the former CBN boss.

Emefiele had previously been arraigned on November 17, 2023, for allegedly using his position to confer a corrupt advantage on a staff member, Sa’adatu Ramallan Yaro. He was accused of awarding contracts to a company, April 1616 Investment Ltd, in which Yaro serves as a director.

Despite pleading not guilty, Emefiele’s defence counsel, Matthew Burkaa (SAN), filed a motion seeking the variation of conditions attached to the N300 million bail granted earlier. The court granted the motion, with the condition that Emefiele remains within Nigeria for the duration of the trial.

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