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Emefiele awarded contracts to his wife,  brother-in-law- Witness tells court

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Mr Michael Agboro, a  prosecution seventh witness alleged that the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Godwin Emefiele awarded contracts to companies belonging to his wife and a his broher-in-law.

Emefiele is standing trial on an alleged 20-count amended charge, preferred against him by the Economic and financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before a FCT High Court in Maitama,  Abuja.

He was alleged to have engaged in criminal breach of trust, forgery, conspiracy to obtain by false pretence and obtaining money by false pretence, when he served as the apex bank’s boss.

The EFCC alledged that the former CBN boss forged a document titled: Re: Presidential Directive on Foreign Election Observer Missions dated Jan. 26, 2023 with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/201 and purported same to have emanated from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (AGF).

Besides he is also accused of using his office as CBN governor to confer unfair and corrupt advantage on two companies; ”April 1616 Nigeria Ltd and Architekon Nigeria Ltd”.

Agboro, an investigator with the Independent, Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) who testified earlier was cross-examined further by Emefiele’s counsel, Mathew Burkaa, SAN.

When asked if the defendant conferred unfair and corrupt advantage on himself, he answered :”he  conferred on Saadatu Yaro, who is a Public Officer working under him. He also conferred on his wife and brother-in-law.

When asked if Emefiele alone could award and approv contracts, he answered that the contracts were approved by the defendant.

Answering if there was no difference between CBN and Emefiele, he said :”the difference is that the defendant was an employee of CBN.

When asked if the defendant was a member of the tender’s board or procurement department, he said he did not know.

”We limited our investigation to him, his wife, relatives and associates.

”Our findings revealed that the defendant was not a director or shareholder or an account signatory in either April1616 limited or Architekon Nigeria limited.

He also admitted that there was no evidence of any payment made to Emefiele by these companies in the course of performing his duties at the CBN.

Also when asked if in the course of their investigation they interviewed people in the CBN to determine whether the two firms executed the jobs they were contracted to do, the witness said “yes”.

However, when asked if the team in their final report stated this fact, the witness said he could not recall if they did.

Agboro being led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN on Marrch 11 tendered several documents including company registration documents and award as well as payments for contract relating to the two forms.

He added that documents his team, comprising of persons drawn from the ICPC, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and the Department of State Service (DSS), showed that while a Director of ”April 1616”, Yaro, is a Public Officer, with the CBN, Emefiele’s wife, Margaret Omoyile and his brother-in-law, Mac Congo were directors in Architekon.

Justice Hamza Muazu adjourned the matter until Tuesday, for re-examination of the witness.

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