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Emefiele Gets N300m Bail, Denies N684.5m Note Printing

A Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja, on Wednesday, granted the immediate past Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, bail of N300 million, following his arraignment on the unlawful redesign of the naira notes.

Emefiele was accused of approving the printing of N684.5 million at the rate of N18.96 billion.

The anti-graft agency also said the embattled former governor unlawfully approved the withdrawal of N124.8 billion from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation.

The former apex bank chief was also said to have disobeyed the direction of law with intent to cause injury to the public during his implementation of the naira swap policy of the administration of former President, Muhammadu Buhari.

EFCC, also claimed that Emefiele embarked on the naira redesign without the approval of the Board of the CBN as well as the then President, Buhari.

Emefiele refused any wrongdoing as he pled not guilty to all four count charges read to him by the prosecution, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, before Justice Maryanne Anenih.

This arraignment makes it the third separate charge brought before Emefiele.

Emefiele’s counsel, Mahmud Magaji (SAN) moved for his client’s bail application, after the prosecution had finished reading out the charge.

He drew the attention of the court to an earlier bail granted by Justice Hamza Muazu, of the FCT High Court, Maitama.

Ruling in the bail application, Justice Anenih, held that “a defendant is entitled to bail and presumed innocent until proven otherwise”.

She also said there is “cogent and compelling reason to grant the bail application.”

Justice Anenih, on this note granted Emefiele bail with similar conditions as previously granted by Justice Hamza Muazu.

She granted him bail to the sum of N300m and two sureties.

She held that the sureties must be responsible citizens and own property worth the bail sum within the FCT.

She added that the property documents must be verified and deposited with the court registry pending the determination of the matter.

While adopting the bail ruling of Justice Muazu, Justice Anenih held that the two sureties must deposit two recent passport photos alongside their National Identity cards or international passports.

She also held that the defendant is prohibited from traveling outside the country without the permission of the court.

She subsequently adjourned till 28th of May for the commencement of trial.

Recall that Justice Muazu had granted Emefiele bail in the sum of N300 million with two sureties in like sum.

Today’s arraignment on the fresh charges brought before Emefiele was previously scheduled to be held on 30th of April.

The arraignment was, however, stalled due to the absence of the prosecution who had asked the court to fix another date for the arraignment as the previous date was no longer convenient.

Following his request, the matter was fixed for today, Wednesday, 15th of May.

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