A civil society organisation (CSO), African Center for Justice and Human Rights (ACJHR), has said that the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, was innocent of the fresh allegations of breach of Procurement Act and unfair advantages in award of contracts being levelled against him by the Federal Government.
The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and counsel to the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mohammed Abubakar, Tuesday, hinted that the Federal Government had filed a fresh 20 count-charge against Emefiele before an FCT High Court in Abuja.
The charges stemmed from allegations of corrupt advantages granted to Emefiele’s associates, including a CBN employee, Sa’adatu Yaro, and her company, April1616 Investment Limited. They are being accused of procuring an array of 98 luxury vehicles and armoured buses, with an estimated total value of around ₦6.9 billion.
The CSO said with the way allegations against Emefiele were changing, it was clear that the DSS was allegedly on a witch-hunting journey sponsored by politicians and businessmen who were hellbent on destroying suspended apex banker.
ACJHR in a statement by its convener, Barr. Tochukwu Ohazuruike, flayed Federal Government’s latest claims, insisting that the suspended CBN Governor was innocent of all allegations.
He lamented what he called unfair treatment of Emefiele as, according to him, he was being unjustly made to face legal action over trumped-up charges and baseless accusations.
While pointing out that the Department of State Services (DSS) has over the months disrespected the judiciary in regards to Emefiele’s case, ACJHR urged President Bola Tinubu to direct the secret police to release Emefiele pending the hearing and determination of the case.
The group stated, “Emefiele is innocent of the fresh allegations of breach of procurement Act and unfair advantages in award of contract by the Federal Government. The Department of State Services, DSS, over the months has tried in vain to pin the suspended CBN Governor with baseless charges.
“First, it was allegation of terrorism financing, then alleged possession of illegal firearms, now they are withdrawing the charges and claiming Emefiele breached procurement Act. With the way the secret police is changing their claims against the embattled suspended CBN Governor, it’s clear that they are on a witch-hunt, sponsored by unscrupulous politicians and businessmen who are hellbent on destroying him. However, as a human rights organisation, we believe that everyone charged of an offence is innocent until proven guilty. We won’t allow violations of human rights and hereby urge President Bola Tinubu to direct the secret police to release Emefiele pending the hearing and determination of the trial.”