Emefiele, FG May Settle Out Of Court Over Fraud Allegations


Godwin Emefiele, who has been suspended from his role as the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), is reportedly exploring the possibility of a plea bargain in relation to the criminal lawsuit brought against him by the federal government, according to sources cited by TheCable.

Emefiele is currently facing a 20-count charge that includes alleged involvement in conspiracy to commit procurement fraud and other related offenses. The charges involve his alleged collaboration with Sa’adatu Yaro, a CBN employee, and a company named April1616 Investment Ltd.

Initially scheduled for August 17, the arraignment was postponed due to the absence of Sa’adatu Yaro, Emefiele’s co-accused. The court proceedings were rescheduled for August 23.

However, during the recent court session on Wednesday, neither Emefiele nor Yaro were present, and the case was not listed on the court’s schedule.

Sources reveal that Emefiele is proposing a plea bargain arrangement, and the federal government appears open to considering this option. If an agreement is reached, it is anticipated that Emefiele will resign from his position as CBN governor and potentially relinquish certain assets.

Under legal provisions, the president does not have the authority to unilaterally remove Emefiele from the position of central bank governor. According to Section 11 of the Central Bank Act 2007, specific conditions and a two-thirds majority vote by the Senate are required for the removal of a CBN governor from office.

An alternative course of action for the president would be to await Emefiele’s conviction for a criminal offense by a court of competent jurisdiction, as outlined in Section 11(2)(b) of the Act.

Nonetheless, Section 11(3) of the CBN Act permits the CBN governor to resign from the role by providing a three-month notice in writing to the president.

Emefiele was suspended by President Bola Tinubu on June 9, with responsibilities temporarily transferred to Folashodun Adebisi Shonubi, the deputy governor of the operations directorate. Following his suspension, Emefiele was held by the Department of State Services (DSS) for investigative purposes.

He was later arraigned on charges related to “illegal possession” of firearms, but the federal government withdrew the charges on August 15, supported by constitutional and legal provisions.

In light of ongoing developments, it remains to be seen how the legal proceedings will unfold and whether a settlement agreement will be reached between Emefiele and the federal government.

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