Naira Swap: EFCC To arraign Emefiele tomorrow

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On Wednesday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will charge former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele with ordering the printing of N684.5 million at a cost of N18.96 billion.

The arraignment was originally planned for April 30, 2024, but was delayed after the court and parties reached an agreement.

The EFCC charged Emefiele with four counts of disobeying the law with the purpose to injure the public while implementing the naira swap scheme of former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

The anti-graft agency also accused Emefiele of illegally sanctioning the removal of N124.8 billion from the Federation’s Consolidated Revenue Fund.

According to sources, the former CBN governor will be arraigned on these counts before Justice Maryann Anenih of the FCT High Court, Abuja.

This arraignment will bring to three the number of charges pending against the former CBN governor.

On Nov. 17, 2023, Emefiele was arraigned before Justice Hamza Muazu on a six-count charge of procurement fraud to which he pleaded not guilty.

He was also accused of abusing his office by approving a contract for the acquisition of 43 vehicles totalling N1.2 billion from 2018 to 2020.

On April 8, 2024, the EFCC also arraigned the former banker alongside one Henry Omoile before Justice Rahman Oshodi of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos for an alleged $4.5bn and N2.8bn fraud.

He’s also pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The new charge, dated April 2, 2024, was filed by the EFFC prosecutor Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN) alongside eight other lawyers acting on behalf of the Attorney General of the Federation.

Counts one to four of the charge, reads,  “STATEMENT OF OFFENCE: Public Servant disobeying direction of law with intent to cause injury to the public contrary to and punishable under Section 123 of the Penal Code Law, Cap. 89 Laws of the Federation, 1990.

“PARTICULARS OF THE OFFENCE: That you GODWIN IFEANYI EMEFIELE between the 19th day of October 2022 and 5th March 2023 in Abuja, knowingly disobeyed the direction of Section 19 of the CBN Act, 2007, by approving the printing of N375,520,000.00 pieces of colour swapped N1, 000, at the total cost of N11,052, 068,062 without the recommendation of the Board of Central Bank and the strict approval of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria which conduct of yours caused injury to the public and you thereby committed an offence.”

COUNT 2: “That you, GODWIN IFEANYI EMEFIELE, between the 19th of October 2022 and 5th March 2023 in Abuja, knowingly disobeyed the direction of Section 19 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007, by approving the printing of 172,000,000 pieces of colour swapped N500 (Five Hundred Naira) Notes, at the total cost of N4, 471,066,040 without the recommendation of the Board of Central Bank and the strict approval of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria which conduct of yours caused injury to the public and you thereby committed an offence.

COUNT 3: “That you GODWIN IFEANYI EMEFIELE between the 19th day of October 2022 and 5th March 2023 in Abuja, knowingly disobeyed the direction of Section 19 of the CBN Act, 2007, by approving the printing of 137,070,000 pieces of colour swapped N200 (Two Hundred Naira) Note, at the total cost of N3, 441, 005, 280 without the recommendation of the Board of Central Bank and the strict approval of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria which conduct of yours caused injury to the public and you thereby committed an offence.”

COUNT 4: “That you, GODWIN IFEANYI EMEFIELE, on or about the 7th day of October 2020, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, knowingly disobeyed the direction of Section 80 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended), by approving the withdrawal of the total sum of N124, 860, 227, 865.16 from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation in a manner not prescribed by the National Assembly, which conduct of yours caused injury to the public and you thereby committed an offence.”