Monday, April 8, 2024

Ex-Central Bank Governor of Nigeria Godwin Emefiele pleads not guilty to fresh charges

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission accused Emefiele of arbitrarily allocating foreign exchange of about $2 billion without bids and due process, it said in a fresh charge sheet with 26 allegations.

The move escalates the legal battle between the anti-graft agency and the former bank governor who’s also facing charges of fraud, corruption and criminal conspiracy.

Emefiele, who appeared before Lagos High Court Judge Rahman Oshodi, pleaded not guilty to all of the accusations, Bloomberg reported.

Following his inauguration in May, Nigerian President Bola Tinubu suspended the former central bank governor, whose policies on naira redesign and foreign exchange controls had drawn criticism.

Tinubu later ordered an investigation of the central bank’s operations and a report in December made more fraud accusations against Emefiele including holding hundreds of unauthorized overseas bank accounts, buying two banks through proxies and obtaining dollars through false claims. The allegations were added to his old charges in January.

However, Emefiele has vehemently denied all accusations levelled against him.

Emefiele's successor, Olayemi Cardoso said in February that about $2.4 billion unmet foreign-currency claims on the central bank were fraudulent and dismissed them because of irregularities.

By Adekunle Agbetiloye, Business Insider Africa

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