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Emefiele Fulfills Bail Conditions, Secretly Released From Kuje Prison – Report



Ex-Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele

Embattled former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has finally fulfilled his bail conditions and has been released from Kuje Prison secretly, a News report has gathered on Friday.

DDM News discovered according to the report that a source in the prison who revealed the ex-CBN governor’s release via a text message said, “Emefiele was released quietly in Kuje prison at 3pm today after fulfilling his bail conditions secretly.”

The source further said, “The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is still looking for him to arrest him,” and that’s “why he was released secretly.”

He said everything was done secretly in active connivance with the prison officials who perfected the plan and hid him from visitors who were visiting the facility.

The former CBN top man was unable to fulfil the bail conditions over fears that the government may come after anyone who would stand as his surety.

It’s not clear at the time of going to press who came to his rescue as one of his lawyers, Maxwell Opara told THE WHISTLER, “I can’t confirm that to you unless I speak with the brother.”

Justice Olukayode Adeniyi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court had granted the CBN bail on November 8.

He was re-arraigned on a six-count charge bordering on procurement fraud on November 18 and remanded in Kuje Prison.

He was accused of corruptly enriching himself as CBN governor by using Sa’adatu Yaro, a staff of CBN, to award a contract for the procurement of 43 vehicles worth N1.2 billion between 2018 and 2020.

According to the charge sheet, the vehicles included 37 Toyota Hilux at the cost of N854.7 million, one Toyota Avalon at the cost of N99.9 million, one Toyota Landcruiser V8 at the cost of N73.8 million, two Toyota Hilux Shell Specification at the cost of N44,200,000.

After pleading “not guilty” to the amended charge, he was granted bail in the sum of N300 million with sureties who must have certificates of occupancy and titles of properties within the Maitama district in Abuja.

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On Wednesday, Jim Obazee, the special investigator probing CBN and related entities, in a final panel report titled ‘Report of the Special Investigation on CBN and Related Entities (Chargeable offences)’ that was submitted to President Bola Tinubu accused the former CBN boss of using Ways and Means advances by the CBN to enrich himself.

Abubakar Umar, the spokesman of the Kuje Prison did not respond to inquiries made via calls and a text message.

‘He Perfected His Bail’ – Prison Authority Confirms THE WHISTLER Report On Emefiele’s Release

The Kuje Correction Centre has confirmed THE WHISTLER report on the release of former governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele.

In a text message sent to our Correspondent hours after THE WHISTLER published how the ex-CBN boss was secretly released on Friday for fear of being rearrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the spokesman of the prison, Abubakar Umar, said Emefiele met the bail conditions set by the court.

Umar said, “He has perfected his bail condition, as such, no need to keep him more than necessary.”

Emefiele, who failed to meet temporary freedom weeks after the court in Abuja granted him bail of N300 million, is facing another severe scrutiny following a fresh indictment by the Special Investigator on the CBN and Related Entities, headed by Jim Obazee.

The report, which was submitted to President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday exposed how Emefiele ferried into his private onshore accounts millions of dollars of public funds.

The Obazee report, which recommended prosecution of Emefiele said the handling of the Ways and Means of the CBN was shady and fraudulent and was used to defraud the country billions of naira.

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The ex-CBN boss who’s facing charges bordering on procurement fraud to the tune of N1.2 million was also accused of ignoring extant CBN laws to redesign the country’s currency, the naira, without the president’s approval.

A source in Kuje Prison had hinted that the former CBN topman colluded with prison officials to keep his release under wraps to avoid being rearrested by the EFCC.

It was gathered a few hours after THE WHISTLER broke the news of his release that he’s likely to go into hiding following the latest indictment.

The source said, “Emefiele may not be in Abuja by Saturday evening,” but failed to explain if the former top banker would fail to appear in court.

None of Emefiele’s lawyers could be reached as of the time of going to press.

Earlier, one of his lead counsels, Maxwell Opara sought to speak with Emefiele’s brother before making a comment on the development when contacted by our correspondent.

Oluwole Owoeye, a staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) during the tenure of its suspended governor, Godwin Emefiele, has told the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court that his embattled former boss was not responsible for making payments to contractors.

Owoeye, a deputy director, Banking Services and former secretary, Major Contract Award Committee (MCAC) at the CBN, was one of the witnesses presented by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday during the ongoing fraud trial of Emefiele.

Recall that after Emefiele’s suspension by President Bola Tinubu, the State Security Service (SSS), a federal government agency, charged him before the Lagos State High Court with illegal possession of firearms.

Subsequently, the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice withdrew the charges and filed new ones at the FCT High Court Abuja.

In August, the federal government (FG) instituted 20 counts of procurement fraud charges against Emefiele and a CBN staff member, Sa’adatu Yaro, concerning an alleged N6.9 billion fraud.

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However, their arraignment has been delayed since August 17 due to the illness of a female CBN staff member.

They were accused of diverting public funds for personal use, including alleged purchases of luxury cars.

But in a fresh suit number CR/577/2023, the FG amended the (now N1.2 billion) fraud charges (dated November  to six counts, with Emefiele as the sole defendant.

During his cross-examination by Emefiele’s lawyer, Mathew Burkaa SAN, Owoeye was asked to inform the court if the CBN governor was responsible for paying contractors.

The witness’s response was that the Director of the Procurement and Support Services Department (PSSD) at the CBN had the responsibility of approving qualified contractors and that “all payments must pass through the Director of PSSD.”

The witness was asked if it would be inappropriate for a contractor who has completed their work to be paid for their services.

“It is not out of place,” the witness replied.

Murkaa further asked the witness to confirm that the CBN governor does not have the authority to unilaterally approve contracts for the central bank.

The witness said, “He does not.”

“Was the process of vetting vendors or companies to determine their qualifications the responsibility of the CBN governor or his deputy?” Murkaa inquired again.

The witness responded, “Neither of them.”

The witness further denied being familiar with the contents of the charges against Emefiele, adding that he was asked to appear in court to provide testimony on general procedures for awarding contracts at the CBN.

The court subsequently adjourned the trial until January 18 and 19.

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