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Nigerian Ex-Central Bank Governor Accused of $1.9 Mln Fraud to Stay in Custody Until Bail Hearing

© AP Photo / Sunday AlambaGodwin Emefiele, Former Central Bank governor, leaves after a court hearing at the Federal High Court in Lagos Nigeria, Tuesday, July 25, 2023.
Godwin Emefiele, Former Central Bank governor, leaves after a court hearing at the Federal High Court in Lagos Nigeria, Tuesday, July 25, 2023. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 17.11.2023
In August, Nigerian ex-central bank chief Godwin Emefiele was charged with 20 fraud and corruption counts worth more than $7.7 million. During the consideration of the case, the number of charges changed, and Emefiele was taken into custody several times.
Former central bank governor Godwin Emefiele, accused of public procurement fraud, was remanded in custody on Friday by a Nigerian court, pending a bail hearing next Wednesday, the local media reported.
Emefiele applied for bail after pleading not guilty to six new bribery charges. Prosecutors dropped the charges from a previous 20-count indictment he faces along with two others so he can be tried separately and quickly.
Justice Hamza Muazu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court adjourned the case until November 22 to rule on Emefiele's bail application. The main trial is scheduled to begin on November 28, reports said.
In the meantime, the judge ordered Emefiele to be remanded to Kuje Correctional Centre.
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According to the local media outlet, the original charge against Emefiele in August was 20 counts worth N6.5 billion (more than $7.7 million) and was subsequently reduced to six counts worth N1.6 billion (almost $1.9 million), the local media revealed. Emefiele is the only person charged on the new charge.
The Federal Government claimed Emefiele illegally purchased 43 vehicles worth N1.2 billion (almost $1.4 million) between 2018 and 2020. He was also accused of awarding a contract for the purchase of 37 Toyota Hilux vehicles worth N854 million (a bit more than $1 million), as well as other corruption schemes.
Emefiele was suspended by the President of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu on June 9 and arrested a day later, and has never made public comments about his case.
Later in July, the suspended governor was re-arrested after being released on bail: despite the court's decision, the Department of State Services managed to take him into custody.
He resigned in August after almost 10 years of service and was replaced by new central bank governor Olayemi Cardoso in September.