The much-anticipated arraignment of the suspended Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele, over an alleged N6.9 billion procurement fraud was again stalled on Wednesday.
This is as the case was not listed on the cause list of a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Abuja with no reason given, and lawyers to both parties were also absent in court.
Persecondnews recalls that the suspended CBN governor, who appeared before the court last Thursday, August 17, was supposed to be arraigned but the arraignment was stalled due to the absence of the second defendant, who was said to be ill.
Although Emefiele, who is the first defendant was present in court, the second defendant, a female CBN employee, Sa’adatu Yaro, was not in court.
Justice Hamza Muazu had adjourned the case to Wednesday, August 23, for the arraignment of the defendants.
Persecondnews reports that the embattled apex bank chief, who has been in detention since he was suspended from office on June 9, 2023, was accused of conferring corrupt advantages on Yaro, a CBN Director in April 1616 Investment Ltd.
The offence is contrary to Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.
The embattled Emefiele was also said to have conferred a corrupt advantage on Yaro by awarding a contract for the supply of one Toyota Avalon at the cost of N99.9m to her company, April1616 Investment Ltd. in 2019.
The ex-CBN governor was said to have conspired with Yaro to confer corrupt advantages on the CBN staffer by awarding to her a contract for the supply of two Toyota Hilux Shell specification vehicles, at the cost of N44.2m sometime in 2020..
Emefiele was further alleged to have awarded another contract to Yaro and her firm for the purchase of one Toyota Landcruiser VXR valued at N96m in 2020.
Yaro was similarly accused of fraudulent acquisition of property for getting a contract from the CBN for the supply of 47 Toyota Hilux vehicles at the cost of N1,085, 700,000 and thereby committed a punishable offence.
In the charges signed by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mohammed Abubakar; Deputy Director, Public Prosecution, Mrs Nkiru Jones-Nebo and eight other ministry officials, the three accused persons were alleged to have bought a fleet of over 98 exotic vehicles and armoured buses valued at about N6.9bn.
Some of the vehicles reported to have been bought between 2018 and 2020 included 84 Toyota Hilux vehicles, 10 armored Mercedes Benz buses, three Toyota Landcruisers, and one Toyota Avalon car.