The federal government’s arraignment of the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, CBN staff member, Sa’adatu Yaro and her company, April1616 Investment Limited, has been stalled over the staff member’s illness.
The federal government instituted a fresh 20 counts procurement fraud charges against them relying on Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.
That section reads, “Any public officer who uses his office or position to gratify or confer any corrupt or unfair advantage upon himself or any relation or associate of the public officer or any other public officer shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for five (5) years without option of fine.”
They were alleged to have conferred corrupt financial advantages on themselves by diverting public funds and purchasing exotic vehicles through the same.
Some of the counts reads, “That you, Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, male, adult, sometime in 2018 within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did use your position as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria to confer a corrupt advantage on Sa’adatu Ramallan Yaro, a staff member of the Central Bank of Nigeria by awarding a contract for the supply of 37 (Nos.) Toyota Hilux Vehicles at the cost of N854,700,000 only to April 1616 Investment Ltd, a company in which she is a director and thereby committed an offence.
““That you, Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, male, adult, Sa’adatu Ramallan Yaro, female, adult, and April 1616 Investment Ltd, sometime in 2019 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire amongst yourselves to use the office of Mr. Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria to confer a corrupt advantage on Sa’adatu Ramallan Yaro, a staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria by awarding a contract for the supply of 1 (No.) Toyota Landcruiser V8 at the cost of N73,800,000 only to April 1616 Investment Ltd.
“Statement of the offence: Conferring corrupt advantage contrary to section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.’’
At the resumed sitting on Thursday, the Prosecution told Justice Hamza Muazu that it could not produce the female defendant because she fell ill.
Subsequently, Justice Hamza Muazu adjourned arraignment to August 23 for the appearance of all the defendants so that they can take their plea.
Recall that the federal government sought to withdraw its illegal possession of firearms charges against Emefiele.
The arraignment in Lagos followed an order by an FCT High Court that the Department of State Services must charge the suspended CBN governor within one week or release him from prolonged detention which runs for over a month now.