Former CBN Governor Emefiele set to face trial over alleged economic sabotage

Emefiele is accused of conspiracy and procurement fraud.

The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, is set to face trial today at a High Court in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The trial, initially scheduled to commence yesterday, is in connection with alleged economic sabotage-related offences brought forth by the Federal Government.

Emefiele is accused of conspiracy and procurement fraud, with charges specifically pointing to the award of contracts worth ₦6.9 billion to a company owned by his alleged accomplice, Saadatu Ramalan Yaro, a businesswoman.

The charges further allege that Emefiele leveraged his position to confer corrupt advantages on Yaro, raising concerns about the integrity of the awarding process.

A notice for the trial has confirmed that Justice Hamza Muazu will preside over the proceedings, emphasising the gravity of the allegations against the former CBN governor.

The charges, rooted in economic sabotage, underscore the government’s commitment to addressing corruption and ensuring accountability, especially among high-profile individuals entrusted with public responsibilities.

What you should know

Saadatu Ramalan-Yaro, a businesswoman, was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Lagos State twice this year.

The charges, presented before Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court in Abuja, involved money laundering totaling over ₦140 billion.

Ramalan-Yaro, accused of neglecting her duties as the director of Tsami Babi Resources Limited, a designated non-financial business, allegedly deposited ₦100 billion into the company’s Zenith Bank account without notifying the Ministry of Commerce. This action is said to contravene sections of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act of 2011.

In a separate charge, Ramalan-Yaro and M.A.Y. Fine Fragrance Limited face accusations of money laundering amounting to ₦40 billion.

She pleaded not guilty, and the trial commenced on July 12 and 13, 2023, with bail granted under specified conditions, including a ₦100 million bail amount and surrendering her international passport.

She is billed for arraignment alongside Emefiele in a fresh case of procurement fraud at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Abuja on Thursday, November 16, 2023.

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