Corruption: Emefiele Impersonated SGF To Illegally Obtain $6.2m – EFCC

by J.J Olawuyi

The Federal Government has, for the third time, revised the criminal charges against Godwin Emefiele, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. The latest amendment, presented before Justice Hamza Muazu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja, accuses Emefiele of impersonating the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to unlawfully obtain $6.2 million, marking the third amendment.

The amended charge, identified as CR/577/2023, alleges that on February 8, 2023, Emefiele collaborated with Odoh Ocheme, who is currently evading authorities, to secure $6.2 million from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). They claimed it was requested by the SGF through a letter dated January 26, 2023, with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/201.

Despite being aware that the SGF did not make such a request, Emefiele purportedly insisted that the CBN release “a contingent logistic advance in the sum of $6,230,000.00 in line with Mr. President’s directive.” The EFCC contends that this false claim by Emefiele violates section 1(1) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud-Related Offences Act, 2006, punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act.

In another aspect of the amended charge, the EFCC alleges that in January 2023, Emefiele engaged in forgery by producing a document titled “RE: PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE ON FOREIGN ELECTION OBSERVER MISSIONS,” dated January 26, 2023, with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/201, in collaboration with the fugitive Ocheme.

Additionally, Emefiele is accused of granting corrupt advantage to his wife, Omoile Margaret, and brother-in-law, Omoile Macombo. This was allegedly done by awarding a contract for the renovation of a portion of the CBN Governor’s residence in Lagos worth N99.8 million. The EFCC claims that this act by Emefiele violates Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

The amended charge sheet comprises a total of 20 counts against Emefiele. Justice Hamza Muazu adjourned the proceedings until today (Friday) to allow Emefiele to enter his plea on the amended charges. The original charge, filed against Emefiele in August 2023, accused him of procurement fraud amounting to N6.5 billion. Initially charged alongside a female CBN employee, Sa’adatu Yaro, and her company, April 1616 Investment, the EFCC later reduced the counts to six and removed the names of Yaro and April 1616 Investment. The alleged procurement fraud amount was also reduced to N1.2 billion. The EFCC had commenced the trial, presenting three witnesses before the latest amendment.

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