The trial of the suspended Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, on charges of procurement fraud, commenced on Monday at an FCT High Court in Abuja, with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) presenting its case.
Emefiele faces amended charges, including criminal conspiracy, conferring undue advantage, and breach of trust, among others, to which he pleaded not guilty.
The EFCC’s first witness, Onyeka Ogbu, a Deputy Director in CBN branch operations, testified that $6.2 million was allocated for international election observers and that he processed the payment as instructed by the Banking services department.
The defense opposed the prosecution’s request for a stand-down, preferring an adjournment to allow for proper documentation and cross-examination of the witness.
The amended charges accuse Emefiele of forging a document titled “RE: PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE ON FOREIGN ELECTION OBSERVER MISSIONS” and conniving to obtain $6.2 million from the CBN. The EFCC also alleges that Emefiele awarded a contract for the renovation of the CBN Governor’s lodge to a company where he and an accomplice are directors.
The trial was adjourned to Tuesday for further proceedings.