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Tuesday, September 19, 2023

JUST IN: Suspended CBN Boss, Emefiele Granted N20m Bail

One month after he was arrested by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS), Godwin Emefiele, the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), was granted in the sum of N20 million with one surety in like sum, The Guardian reports.

The embattled former CBN boss was granted bail by the Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos and presided over by Justice Nicholas Oweibo.

The judge, after listening to the submissions of Emefiele’s counsel, Joseph Daudu, a senior advocate of Nigeria, granted him the bail.

The court said the surety must be owner of a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court and must not be less than Level 16 in the Nigerian Civil Service.

The judge ruled that Emefiele must deposit his international passport to the court.

Justice Oweibo rejected the Federal Government’s claim that Emefiele was a flight risk, ruling that the government failed to provide any fact to support its claim.

Emefiele was suspended as CBN Governor on June 9, 2023 , which came just one day after, the DSS confirmed that he was in their custody.

After several legal battles by Emefiele’s counsel who challenged his prolonged detention by the DSS announced that he has been charged to court, Emefiele was brought to court by DSS operatives on Tuesday.

Appearing before Justice Oweibo, Emefiele pleaded not guilty to the two counts of illegal possession of firearm and ammunition filed against him by the Federal Government.

In his submissions, his lawyer, Daudu, urged the court to grant bail on self recognizance or on other liberal terms, pending the hearing and determination of the trial.

However, counsel for the Federal Government, Nkiru Jones-Nebo opposed the bail application.

According to Jones-Anebi the prosecution had not been given time to respond in line with the provisions of fair hearing enshrined in the constitution.

Also, she said that the prosecution had information that the defendant’s refusal to hand in his passport suggested his capacity to evade and abscond from his trial.

But the court overruled the Federal Government with the judge ordering that Emefiele be held at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre, pending the perfection of his bail as against the request of the prosecution that the defendant should be remanded in DSS custody for further investigation on another matter that may soon by filed in court.

The trial has been fixed for November 14, 2023.

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