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Former CBN Governor Emefiele Released on Bail as EFCC Trial Begins

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LAGOS, Nigeria – Godwin Emefiele, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), was released on bail on Friday, April 12, 2024, after meeting the conditions set by the Lagos High Court, Ikeja.

He was granted bail in the sum of N50 million with two sureties in like sum by Justice Rahman Oshodi, following his earlier arrest and custody under the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Emefiele, who was brought to court by EFCC operatives, faced the commencement of his trial shortly after his release on Friday.

The trial began with the EFCC calling its first witness, Monday Osazuwa, a staff member at the CBN, who detailed how Emefiele allegedly directed him to collect large sums of money on multiple occasions.

According to Osazuwa, under the leadership of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Rotimi Oyedepo, he recounted his time as a dispatch rider at Zenith Bank before joining the CBN.

He detailed his interactions and errands for Emefiele, including collecting up to $1 million in cash from a businessman at Emefiele’s direction.

“I did not keep record of transactions because the instruction he gave me was that I should collect the money and bring the money to his house,” Osazuwa testified, mentioning that he never received any form of reward or payment for these transactions, emphasising his loyalty to Emefiele.

During cross-examination by Emefiele’s counsel, Abdulakeem Labi-Lawal, Osazuwa confirmed his long-standing working relationship with the former governor since 2002 and discussed his interactions with Henry Isioma Omoile, the second defendant, who allegedly resided at Emefiele’s residence.

The court also heard about Osazuwa’s role in handling transactions for Dumies Oil and Gas Limited, where he collected cheques as directed by Emefiele.

The defense’s request for adjournment was denied by Justice Oshodi, who deemed it unjustified, setting the stage for the trial to proceed on April 29, which will also address requests for a closed session for some of the prosecution witnesses.

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