The scheduled arraignment of suspended Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN), Godwin Emefiele on charges of procurement fraud at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Abuja on Thursday was stalled following absence of a co-defendant.
Penpushing report that the co-defendant, Sa’adatu Ramalan-Yaro represented by her lawyer, the co-defendant, told the court the absence from court was because of ill health, while Emefiele was, however, present, and appeared set for arraignment in a case involving 20 counts of conspiracy and procurement fraud.
The former Governor of the apex bank after mounting the defendant’s box, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mohammed Abubakar, informed the court that Mrs Ramallan-Yaro is indisposed to be in court’.
Penpushing further reports that the Director of Prosecution said he was informed of his client’s condition Thursday morning, and thereafter, asked for an adjournment to enable the prosecution to present the defendants for arraignment.
The counsel of Emefiele, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Akinolu Kehinde in response to the request for an adjournment, requested to have a brief audience with his client, which was not opposed by the DPP.
Penpushing also reports that Kehinde commended the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for his professional handling of this matter so far, while Mrs Ramalan-Yaro’s lawyer, Abdulhakeem Labi-Lawal, also consented to the request for an adjournment.
The lawyer, however, informed the court of a pending bail application for Mrs Ramalan-Yaro, and in response the judge said the bail application would be taken after the defendants’ arraignment, and thereafter adjourned the suit until 23 August ,2023 for arraignment.
Penpushing reports that Emefiele was charged alongside Mrs Ramalan-Yaro, and her company, April 1616 Investment Limited having being accused of conspiracy and procurement fraud involving as much as N6.9 billion.
The charges alleged that the former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) conferred corrupt advantages on Ms Ramalan-Yaro, using her firm, April 1616 Investment Limited., as the Nigerian Government alleged that the defendants perpetrated procurement fraud through the award of contracts to Mrs Ramalan-Yaro’s company for the supply of cars.
Penpushing further reports that the defendants, allegedly through the corrupt transactions, purchased a fleet of about 100 posh vehicles and armoured buses worth about N6.9 billion, adding that the alleged corrupt transactions took place between 2018 and 2020, according to the charges.
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