In a recent development, the government led by President Bola Tinubu has reduced the number of fraud charges against the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, from 20 to six. The charges, originally filed in August, pertain to alleged procurement fraud amounting to N6.5 billion.
Emefiele, initially charged alongside a female CBN employee, Sa’adatu Yaro, and her company, April 1616 Investment, faced two instances of stalled arraignment due to the Department of State Services’ failure to produce him in court. After Emefiele’s release by the DSS and subsequent re-arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on October 27, the government amended the charges.
The amended charge sheet, marked CR/577/2023, reveals a reduction in counts from 20 to six, with the alleged procurement fraud amount adjusted from N6.9 billion to N1.2 billion. Emefiele is now the sole defendant in the new charges.
The charges claim that Emefiele, during 2018-2020, illegally procured 43 vehicles worth N1.2 billion. Specific counts include awarding contracts for the supply of vehicles to April 1616 Investment, a company where Yaro is a director, allegedly giving her a corrupt advantage.
The amended charges accuse Emefiele of conferring a corrupt advantage on Yaro by awarding contracts for the supply of Toyota Hilux, Toyota Avalon, and Toyota Landcruiser V8 vehicles to April 1616 Investment, totaling N1.2 billion.
The case’s proceedings were scheduled for Wednesday, but they were disrupted by the ongoing strike led by the Nigeria Labour Congress. The amended charges focus on allegations of procurement fraud, emphasizing the specific vehicles involved and the financial amounts tied to the transactions.