EFCC opens case against Emefiele, calls 1st witness 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has opened its case in the trial of former Central Bank Governor, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, with the calling of its first witness.

Emefiele is being prosecuted on a procurement fraud charge in an FCT High Court in Abuja.

Emefiele, is facing an amended 20 counts charge of criminal conspiracy, conferring undue advantage, and breach of trust, among others, all of which he denied.

Emefiele was previously charged with six counts and first arraigned on November 28, 2023, before the EFCC filed the amended charges necessitating a re-arraignment.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him.

The EFCC’s First Witness (PW1) Onyeka Ogbu, a Deputy Director in CBN branch operations, while being led in evidence by the EFCC lawyer, said $6.2 million was kept aside for international election observers.

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“On January 8, 2023, a request for payment of $6.2 million was brought to my attention by the Banking services department.

“Ours is to make payment, we don’t have the power to approve.

“Having gone through the documents and satisfied, I minuted it and sent it for processing and disbursement which was complied to, ” he said.

He asked for the matter to be stood down to enable him get more documents.

But Emefiele, through his counsel, Matthew Burkaa, objected to the prayer of the prosecution.

He said an adjournment would be better for the prosecution to get all the certified true copies and also for the witness to be cross-examined.

After listening to their submissions, Justice Hamza Muazu adjourned the matter to Tuesday for continuation of trial.

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