Suspended CBN Governor And Allies To Appear In Court Over Alleged N6.9Bn Procurement Fraud

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In a significant legal development, the suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, is scheduled for arraignment alongside his associates at the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja. They are facing accusations of involvement in a procurement fraud amounting to N6.9 billion.

The charges stem from Emefiele’s suspension by President Bola Tinubu in June earlier this year. Alongside Emefiele, Sa’adatu Yaro, a female employee at CBN, and her firm, April1616 Investment Limited, will be facing legal proceedings.

The allegations are centred on claims that Emefiele and his co-defendants participated in 20 instances of procurement fraud, conspiracy, and illicitly gaining personal benefits. The charges specifically pertain to the acquisition of luxury vehicles and armoured buses, valued at N6.9 billion, during the years spanning 2018 to 2020. The vehicle acquisition included a significant number of Toyota Hilux vehicles, armoured Mercedes Benz buses, Toyota Land Cruisers, and a Toyota Avalon car.

The core accusation involves Emefiele’s purported misuse of his authority to grant preferential treatment to Sa’adatu Yaro and her enterprise, April1616 Investment Ltd. This allegedly led to the awarding of contracts for the supply of vehicles and armoured buses. If proven guilty, Emefiele may face a maximum prison sentence of five years, without the possibility of a fine.

The trial is expected to feature several essential witnesses, including key figures from CBN’s procurement division, such as Stanley Alvan, the Director of Procurement, and Mike Agboro, the Head of Procurement. The prosecution maintains that the defendants orchestrated a series of transactions amounting to procurement fraud, corrupt practices, and a conspiracy to commit such acts, all of which are offences under Nigerian law.

 

 

 

 

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