The suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele on Thursday avoided cameras when he arrived at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court.
Emefiele has been in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) since his arrest after President Bola Tinubu suspended him on June 9.
When operatives of the secret police brought him to the court, journalists were not allowed to freely take pictures and capture him on camera as the defendant’s lawyers also shielded him.
Emefiele was supposed to be arraigned over N6.9 billion alleged procurement fraud but the arraignment was stalled due to the absence of the second defendant who was said to be indisposed.
One of the counts against Emefiele is “conferring unlawful advantages”. He is also accused of engaging in conspiracy and procurement fraud, among others.
Although Emefiele (the first defendant) was present in court, the second defendant, a female CBN employee, Sa’adatu Yaro, was not in court.
Following an application for adjournment, Justice Hamza Muazu adjourned the matter to August 23, 2023.
The Federal Government has since withdrawn the charge of illegal possession of firearms filed against him at the Federal High Court in Lagos.
In allowing the withdrawal of the charge, Justice Nicholas Oweibo wondered what good it would do to the defence if the court does not grant the prosecution’s request.
Justice Oweibo said, “The prosecution has shown that they are not law abiding and have no respect for the court. The court cannot force them. What good will it be for the defendant who is in custody? Of what benefit will it be to keep the file in the court’s docket?
“I believe the proper thing is to allow them withdraw the charge. They can simply abandon it and the court will still have to strike it out for lack of diligent prosecution. The application to withdraw is hereby granted.”