Central Bank Ex-Governor EMEFIELE made $6.2million payments to foreign election observers, witness tells court


Monday, February 12, 2024 -At the resumed trial of the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele at the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja, Onyeka Ogbu, a prosecution witness told the court that he was aware of a $6.2million payment request for international election observers.

Ogbu, is a Deputy Director in charge of Branch Operations in the Central Bank of Nigeria.

He was accused of impersonating the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to illegally obtain a sum of $6.2m.

The anti-graft agency alleged that Emefiele, in January 2023, forged a document titled: “Re: Presidential directive on foreign election observer missions” dated January 26, 2023 with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/201.

According to The PUNCH report, Ogbu, the prosecution witness, told the court at resumed trial that the request of the $6.2million was made on January 8, 2023.

He noted that he reviewed the documents and subsequently gave approval for disbursement, which was then executed.

Ogbu said, “On January 8, 2023, a request for payment of $6,230,000 was brought to my attention by the Banking Services department.

“Ours is to make payment, we don’t have the power to approve.

“Having gone through the documents and satisfied, I minuted on it and sent for processing and disbursement which was complied with.”

All documents were identified, but certain pages were absent.

According to the paper, following the observation of missing pages the prosecution counsel led by Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), prayed the court for a temporary halt to address the issue.

The defence counsel, Matthew Burkaa (SAN), however, objected, adding that the prosecution is bound by the evidence presented in the documents.

He said adjournment is better to allow the prosecution to get all the certified true copies and also for the witness to be cross-examined.

After listening to their submissions, Justice Hamza Muazu adjourned till Tuesday for the continuation of trial.

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