Emefiele implemented naira swap without Buhari’s approval – EFCC

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    punchng.com

    The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, on Wednesday, arraigned the immediate-past Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, for alleged unlawful redesign and printing of the new naira notes.

    Emefiele was arraigned before Justice Maryanne Anenih of the Federal Capital Territory High Court.

    In the charge marked CR/264/2024, the EFCC alleged that Emefiele carried out the naira redesign policy without the approval of the  CBN Board and then President, Muhammadu Buhari.

    The anti-graft agency said without the approval of the CBN Board and the President, Emefiele spent N18.96bn for the printing and swapping of new naira notes worth N684.5m.

    It alleged that Emefiele, “knowingly disobeying the direction of Section 19 of the CBN Act, 2007”  approved “the printing of N375,520,000.00 pieces of colour swapped N1,000 notes, at the total cost of N11,052, 068,062 without the recommendation of the Board of Central Bank and the strict approval of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, among other things.”

    The ex-CBN governor was also accused of spending N4.4bn to print “coloured swapped N500 notes.”

    According to the EFCC, Emefiele spent N3.4bn to print “137,070 pieces of coloured N200 notes.”

    The EFCC said Emefiele carried out the alleged actions between October 2022 and March 2023 in Abuja in clear violation of Section 19 of the CBN Act.

    The EFCC alleged that Emefiele disobeyed the direction of the law with the intent to cause injury to the public with the manner in which he implemented the naira swap policy.

    Emefiele was also accused of unlawfully approving the withdrawal of N124.8bn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation.

    When the charges were, however, read to him on Wednesday in the court presided over by Justice Maryanne Anenih, the embattled ex-CBN governor pleaded not guilty.

    His counsel, Mahmud Magaji (SAN), then moved an application for his bail.

    In convincing Justice Anenih to grant Emefiele bail, the lawyer drew the court’s attention to the fact that Emefiele had earlier been arraigned two times by the EFCC and had been granted bail.

    The Wednesday arraignment was his third by the EFCC.

    Ruling on the bail application, Justice Anenih held that “a defendant is entitled to bail and presumed innocent until proven otherwise”.

    She also said there was a “cogent and compelling reason to grant the bail application”.

    Justice Anenih, therefore, granted Emefiele bail on the similar conditions imposed by Justice Hamza Muazu of the FCT High Court before whom he was earlier arraigned.

    She granted him bail to the sum of N300m with two sureties in like sum.

    She held that the sureties must be responsible citizens and own property worth the bail sum within the FCT.

    She added that the property documents must be verified and deposited with the court registry pending the determination of the matter.

    While adopting the bail ruling of Justice Muazu, Justice Anenih held that the two sureties must deposit two recent passport photos alongside their National Identity cards or passports.

    She also held that the defendant was prohibited from travelling outside the country without the permission of the court.

    She subsequently adjourned till May 28 for the commencement of trial.

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