EFCC’S witnesses exonerate Emefiele from alleged N1.2 bn Contract Award fraud, payment.

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The trial of former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele began at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Abuja on Tuesday with three witnesses exonerating him of wrong doings in the Award of N1.2bn vehicle supply contracts by CBN under him.

Emefiele was put on trial by the Federal Government through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC on six counts bordering on alleged breach of procurement procedure in the award of the contract to April1616 Investment Limited.

However at the opening of the trial, the first prosecution witness admitted that Emefiele was not the owner or shareholder of the April1616 Investment Limited awarded the N1.2bn vehicle supply contract by CBN under Emefiele.

The witness, Samsideen Romanus a top official of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) gave evidence on how the company was incorporated on August 1, 2016 and tendered several documents on how the company was floated.

He read out before the Court names of the shareholders of the Company which comprised Aminu Idris Yaro, Maryam Aliyu Abdullahi and Saadatu Ramalan Yaro as joint owners of the entity.

Romanus who was led in evidence by EFCC lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo SAN while tendering several documents on how the company was incorporated on August 1, 2016 said that Emefiele’s name was not in anyway connected with the company.

The witness explained that although CAC was responsible for incorporation of the company, it however has no roles in the day to day running of affairs of the entity.

The second witness, Remigious Ugwu, a Compliance Officer with Zenith Bank told the on how various sums of money in millions of naira were paid by the CBN into the April1616 Investment Limited.

Specifically, he told Justice Hamza Missing how on October 19, 2020, a sum of N39, 060, 465. another N421, 953, 488 on November 6, 2020 and and the third one N304, 883, 720 was paid on November 23, 2020 to the same company by CBN.

Similarly, he said that N304, 883, 720 was paid on January 1, 2021 and another N304, 883, 720 paid the same company on March 23, 2021 by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

He admitted that non of the payments has any link Emefiele’s name while also that he did not know the purpose of the payments.

The witness who tendered various documents on behalf of the bank said that the former CBN governor was not a signatory to the bank account of the company.

The third witness, Oluwole Owoeye, a Deputy Director, Banking Services with CBN and former Secretary to Major Contract Tendering Committee MCTC of the CBN said that his body was responsible for ensuring of compliance with Procurement Act told the court by CBN in the award of contracts.

Owoeye however informed the court that his committee was not involved in the vetting of bidding for the award of contracts that led to prosecution of Emefiele.

The witness explained that another committee handled the bidding because it was above the thresholds of his own Committee

” My Lord, all I know is through our records is that contracts for award of vehicle supplies were awarded to April1616 but I cannot say whether the contracts were executed or paid for because my Committee played no role”

He admitted that MCTC and Procurement Department were fully functional while Emefiele held sway as CBN governor.

Meanwhile, further trial has been adjourned till January 18 and 19 next year.

The former CBN Chief was accused of conferring corrupt advantages on a staff of CBN, Mrs Saadat Ramallan Yaro through awards of vehicle supply contracts worth over N1.2 bn contrary to section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act 2000.

He had denied the six count criminal charges.

The charges are ” That you Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, sometime in 2018 within the jurisdiction of this Court, did use your position as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to confer a corrupt advantage on Saadatu Ramallan Yaro, a staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria by awarding a contract for the supplying of 37 Toyota Hilux Vehicles at the cost of N854, 700, 000 to April1616 Investment Ltd, a company in which the said Saadatu Ramallan Yaro is a Director and thereby committed an offence.

“That you Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, sometime in 2019 within the jurisdiction of this Court, did use your position as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, to confer a corrupt advantage on Saadatu Ramallan Yaro, a staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria by awarding a contract for the supply of One Toyota Avalon at the cost of N99, 900, 000 to April1616 Investment Ltd, a company in which the said Saadatu Ramallan Yaro is a Director and thereby committed an offence.

“That you Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, sometime in 2019 within the jurisdiction of this Court, did use your position as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, to confer a corrupt advantage on Saadatu Ramallan Yaro, a staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria by awarding a contract for the supply of One Toyota Land cruiser V8 at the cost of N73, 800, 000 to April1616 Investment Ltd, a company in which the said Saadatu Ramallan Yaro is a Director and thereby committed an offence.

“That you Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, sometime in 2020 within the jurisdiction of this Court, did use your position as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, to confer a corrupt advantage on Saadatu Ramallan Yaro, a staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria by awarding a contract for the supply of Two Toyota Hilux Shell Specification Vehicles at the cost of N44, 200, 000 to April1616 Investment Ltd, a company in which the said Saadatu Ramallan Yaro is a Director and thereby committed an offence.

“That you Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, sometime in 2020 within the jurisdiction of this Court, did use your position as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, to confer a corrupt advantage on Saadatu Ramallan Yaro, a staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria by awarding a contract for the supply of One Toyota Land cruiser VXR V8 Contract No: POO26821 at the cost of N69, 000, 000 to April1616 Investment Ltd, a company in which the said Saadatu Ramallan Yaro is a Director and thereby committed an offence.

“That you Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, sometime in 2020 within the jurisdiction of this Court, did use your position as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, to confer a corrupt advantage on Saadatu Ramallan Yaro, a staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria by awarding a contract for the supply of One Toyota Land cruiser VXR V8 at the cost of N69, 000, 000
Contract No: POO26822 to April1616 Investment Ltd, a company in which the said Saadatu Ramallan Yaro is a Director and thereby committed an offence”.


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