In a dramatic courtroom session at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Justice Hamza Muazu has ordered the remand of the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, in Kuje prison pending the determination of his bail application.
The decision stems from a hearing marked by legal clashes between Emefiele’s defense team, led by Mathew Burkaa SAN, and Rotimi Oyedepo, representing the Federal Government.
During the hearing, Emefiele’s lead counsel presented a bail application, facing staunch opposition from the government’s representative. Justice Muazu, after hearing arguments from both sides, declared that a bench ruling could not be immediately delivered due to the multitude of legal authorities cited by the opposing parties. The judge expressed the need for time to carefully study the authorities and review the exhibits submitted by Emefiele in support of his bail request.
Consequently, Emefiele will remain in custody until November 22, when the court is scheduled to deliver its ruling on the bail motion. Officials from the Kuje prison authority have reportedly been contacted to arrange for transportation to the detention facility.
Godwin Emefiele, who was arrested by the Department of State Service (DSS) on June 10, following his suspension as CBN Governor on June 9 by President Bola Tinubu, was granted bail on November 8 by an FCT High Court in Maitama, Abuja.
The Federal Government had amended the alleged procurement charges, originally 20, to 6, accusing Emefiele of using his position to confer a corrupt advantage on Sa’adatu Ramallan Yaro, a staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria. The charges allege that Emefiele awarded a contract for the procurement of vehicles worth N1.2 billion between 2018 and 2020, contravening Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.
As Emefiele’s fate hangs in the balance, the public awaits the court’s decision, which will shape the trajectory of this high-profile case.