News Investigators/ The federal government has slammed a fresh 20-count charge against the suspended Governor of the Central Bank (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, in a bid to hold him to account for the alleged misdemeanor of his tenure at the apex bank.
The charges followed an oral application to withdraw the early charge of “illegal possession of firearms” case it filed against him at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.
Government filed the fresh charges – with 20 counts against Emefiele –at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court.
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) at the Federal Ministry of Justice Mohammed Bakodo Abubakar told Justice Nicholas Oweibo that the application followed the result of further investigations.
He made his application orally.
But defence counsel Joseph Daudu (SAN) opposed him, arguing that because the government was in disobedience of the court’s order granting Emefiele bail, its application could not be taken.
The judge had on July 25, admitted Emefiele to a N20million bail on a two-count charge of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and ordered his remand at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre, pending the fulfilment of his bail conditions.
But the DSS rearrested the embattled bank chief after fighting off NCoS officials on the court’s premises.
The Nation reapots that the government had filed fresh charges against Emefiele in Abuja.
Speaking with journalists after the day’s proceedings Mr. Abubakar said the fresh charges – with 20 counts – were filed at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court.
One of the counts accuses Emefiele of “conferring unlawful advantages”.
Justice Nicholas Oweibo of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos had adjourned till August 15, 2023, for hearing of applications seeking to stop further prosecution of Emefiele, while that of the Ministry of Justice sought to appeal the bail granted Emefiele by the court.
Justice Oweibo fixed the date after listening to arguments of parties on whether they were ripe for hearing or to enable the defence reply the prosecution’s further counter affidavit which was served on the defence in court just before the proceedings began.
Ruling on whether the applications were ripe for hearing, the judge noted that the application of the prosecution has been concluded and was ripe for hearing but because the defence has not responded to the further counter affidavit served on him in court, it will be best for the applications to be taken jointly in one day.
Consequently, the judge adjourned the matter to August 15, for hearing of all applications.