Suspended Central Bank Governor, Emefiele asks court for bail on personal recognizance

Godwin Emefiele, the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has asked the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos to grant him bail on personal recognizance pending the hearing and determination of the charge filed against him by the Nigerian Government.

Meanwhile, a total of 10 lawyers including five senior advocates have been listed to defend the suspended CBN governor. They’ll be led by a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Joseph Daudu.

Other senior advocates are Akinlolu Kehinde, Bert Igwilo, Victor Opara and Emeka Obegolu.

Emefiele filed the bail application through his lead counsel, Joseph Daudu (SAN).

He said the application was pursuant to the provisions of the constitution, the Administration of Criminal Justice Act of 2015 and the court’s inherent powers.

Emefiele was arrested on two counts of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition and though it is not yet clear when he would be arraigned, there are reported indications that it would be during the annual vacation of the court which commences on Monday, July 24, 2023.

Emefiele’s case has been assigned to Justice Nicholas Oweibo, who is one of two vacation judges for the court. The other is Justice Akintayo Aluko, ChannelsTelevision reports.

The suspended CBN governor who premised his bail application on nine grounds first contended that the offences he was charged with were bailable. He also said he had never been convicted of any offence and should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

He also said that granting him bail would afford him adequate time and facilities to prepare his defence to the charge.

Referencing his reputation and past record as well as his status of being a former CBN governor, he argued that he was not a flight risk and would not jump bail if it is granted.

Emefiele further pointed out that since investigations had been concluded, there was no likelihood of interference on his part, and while promising to attend trial punctually, the defendant also indicated his willingness to provide responsible sureties as may be required by the Court as a condition for the grant of bail.

It was reported that in documents put before the court in support of the bail application, Emefiele denied being guilty of the offence with which he is presently charged.

The Nigeria Government in the charge sheet, accused the suspended CBN governor of possessing a single-barrel shotgun (JOJEFF MAGNUM 8371) without a licence.

The Nigerian government said the offence was contrary to Section 4 of the Firearms Act Cap F28 Laws of the Federation 2004 and punishable under Section 27 (1b) of the same Act.

in the second count, Emefiele was accused of having in his possession 123 rounds of live ammunition (Cartridges) without a licence, which is contrary to section 8 of the Firearms Act Cap F28 Laws of the Federation 2004 and punishable under Section 27 (1)(b)(il) of the same Act.

 

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