A Federal High Court in Lagos has granted bail to suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele in the sum of N20 million.
POLITICS NIGERIA reports that Justice Nicholas Oweibo, the presiding judge, ruled on Tuesday that the charges against Emefiele are bailable.
The bail was granted with one surety in like sum.
Additionally, the judge ordered that Emefiele be held at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre, pending the perfection of his bail.
The trial is scheduled for November 14.
Emefiele was arraigned on two counts of illegal possession of a single-barrel shotgun and 123 rounds of live ammunition. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Emefiele’s lawyers, led by Joseph B. Dauda, SAN, had filed the bail application, seeking to secure his release on self-recognition.
Dauda had argued that his client had fulfilled all the conditions necessary to make the application ripe for hearing. He also stated that the proof of service endorsed by the Attorney General of the Federation’s office was in the court’s file.
“There should be an end to oppression,” he said.
The government’s lawyer, Deputy Director of Prosecution N.B. Jones, had denied receiving the bail application.
“As I stand here, I have not set eyes on it,” she said.
She further stated that the prosecution had information suggesting that the defendant’s refusal to hand in his passport indicates a capacity to evade and abscond from his trial.
“As the governor of the CBN, he is a powerful man, and can intimidate the witnesses. Granting him bail will intimidate the prosecutions witnesses who have come forward to give evidence. He can evade trial based on his antecedents. We urge the court to dismiss the bail application,” she argued.
However, Justice Oweibo ruled that the government’s claim was “not supported by the evidence before the court.”
Godwin Emefiele was appointed governor of the CBN in 2014.
He was suspended by President Bola Tinubu on 9th June 2023 and later arrested by the DSS.