The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) initiated its legal proceedings against former Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele on Monday, presenting 20-count charges related to alleged corrupt practices and forgery.
Emefiele’s legal team, led by Senior Advocate of Nigeria Matthew Bukaa, objected to certain claims made by EFCC’s prosecution witness, Ogbu Onyeka Michael, a Deputy Director at CBN’s Branch Operation Department.
Michael stated that payment requests, including one for USD6,230,000 labeled for international election observers, were processed through his office and approved by Emefiele.
Despite the witness’s presentation of documents detailing the memo, instructions, and approvals for the payment, Emefiele’s lawyer raised concerns about the lack of certification for the documents.
He urged the court to remove the allegations or compel the prosecution to provide certified copies for proper cross-examination.
The prosecution requested a 30-minute break to obtain certified true copies of the exhibits, but Emefiele’s legal team argued it was impractical. The judge, prioritizing fairness, adjourned the session until Tuesday.
Emefiele had previously pleaded not guilty to the amended 20-count charges. The trial is set to resume on February 12th and 13th, 2024. One of the charges alleges that Emefiele used his position to award a renovation contract to a company owned by his wife and brother-in-law, constituting a corrupt advantage.