In a significant legal development, the embattled former Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has been granted bail by the Federal Capital Territory High Court. Justice Olukayode Adeniyi made this ruling based on Emefiele’s application for the enhancement of his fundamental rights.
Justice Adeniyi, in his ruling, expressed concern over the prolonged detention of Emefiele, stating, “There must be an end to the number of days in detention. The applicant has been in detention longer than the law stipulates, which is against the provision of Section 46(2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.”
The judge ordered Emefiele’s release on bail to his legal team, consisting of Matthews Burkaa, SAN, Magaji Ibrahim, SAN, and J. J. Usman, SAN. The former CBN Governor is required to appear in court on November 15 for his arraignment. Additionally, he must deposit his travel documents with the Registrar of the court.
Emefiele has been in the custody of the federal government since June, following his removal as CBN Governor. Initially detained by the Department of State Service (DSS), he was later transferred to the EFCC last week.
Emefiele’s legal team, representing him, joined the Federal Government, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the EFCC chairman, and the anti-corruption commission as respondents. The former CBN Governor was scheduled to be arraigned on August 17 on a 20-count charge, including procurement fraud amounting to N6.9 billion, conferment of advantage, and conspiracy. However, the arraignment was adjourned to August 23 due to the absence of one of the co-accused, Sa’adatu Ramallan Yaro, who was reported to be ill.
In the intricate saga surrounding Godwin Emefiele, the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the quest for bail has been a tumultuous journey marked by pivotal moments.
The saga commenced with Emefiele’s arrest and subsequent detention in June on charges related to procurement fraud. Despite the gravity of the allegations, he found himself in prolonged detention without facing trial for several months.
The legal trajectory took a turn after five months, as a Nigerian court granted Emefiele bail. The court emphasised the imperative need to either unconditionally release him or bring him before the court for proper proceedings.
The conditions for Emefiele’s bail included the surrender of his passport, a stipulation aimed at ensuring his availability for further legal proceedings. His legal team was mandated to present him in court for an upcoming hearing scheduled for November 15. Importantly, no monetary bail bond was required for his release, indicating a departure from conventional bail conditions.
Amidst these legal intricacies, Emefiele resigned from his position in August, a development that paved the way for the appointment of Olayemi Cardoso as the new CBN governor.