Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Suspended central bank chief of Nigeria facing criminal charges

Nigeria's suspended central bank governor is facing criminal charges, including misappropriation of funds, papers filed by government lawyers in court on Tuesday showed.

Godwin Emefiele was suspended by President Bola Tinubu earlier this month and detained by state security agents, who had not disclosed the charges he faced.

His lawyer asked the Abuja High Court to declare that the detention of Emefiele, who was not in court, breached his fundamental rights and that he should be released.

Emefiele has not been formally charged.

Government lawyers said they secured an order from the lower magistrate court to hold Emefiele longer as investigations continue.

Court documents deposed by the Attorney General's office and Department of State Security showed that Emefiele faced criminal breach of trust and criminal misappropriation of funds charges, among others, which carry long jail time if convicted.

The government lawyer opposed Emefiele's application challenging his detention, arguing that only a federal court was competent enough to hear the case.

Judge Hamza Muazu of the Abuja High Court said he will rule on July 13 on whether the court has jurisdiction over the matter.

By Camillus Eboh, Reuters

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