Our Nigeria News Magazine
The news is by your side.

Emefiele Accused of Awarding Contracts to Family Members’ Companies

Emefiele Accused of Awarding Contracts to Family Members’ Companies

By Matthew Eloyi

Mr. Michael Agboro, the seventh prosecution witness, alleged that suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, awarded contracts to companies belonging to his wife and brother-in-law.

Emefiele is currently on trial for a 20-count amended charge brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before a High Court in Maitama, Abuja.

Emefiele faces accusations of criminal breach of trust, forgery, conspiracy to obtain money by false pretences, and obtaining money by false pretences during his tenure as the CBN governor.

The EFCC alleged that Emefiele forged a document titled “Re: Presidential Directive on Foreign Election Observer Missions,” dated January 26, 2023, with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/201, purporting it to have originated from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

Additionally, Emefiele is accused of using his position to confer unfair and corrupt advantages on two companies, April 1616 Nigeria Ltd and Architekon Nigeria Ltd.

Agboro, an investigator with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), was cross-examined by Emefiele’s counsel, Mathew Burkaa, SAN. When asked if the defendant conferred unfair and corrupt advantages on himself, Agboro responded: “He conferred on Saadatu Yaro, who is a Public Officer working under him. He also conferred on his wife and brother-in-law.”

In response to whether Emefiele alone could award and approve contracts, Agboro confirmed that the contracts were approved by the defendant. When asked if there was a distinction between the CBN and Emefiele, Agboro stated: “The difference is that the defendant was an employee of CBN.”

Regarding Emefiele’s involvement with the tender’s board or procurement department, Agboro admitted he did not know. “We limited our investigation to him, his wife, relatives, and associates,” Agboro said. He also stated that their findings revealed that Emefiele was not a director, shareholder, or account signatory in either April 1616 Limited or Architekon Nigeria Limited.

Agboro admitted there was no evidence of any payment made to Emefiele by these companies in the course of his duties at the CBN. When questioned if the investigation included interviews with CBN personnel to verify whether the two firms executed their contracts, Agboro confirmed it did. However, he could not recall if this fact was included in their final report.

On March 11, led in evidence by EFCC counsel Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, Agboro tendered several documents, including company registration documents and contracts related to the two firms. He added that the investigation team, which included members from the ICPC, EFCC, Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), and the Department of State Services (DSS), found that Yaro, a director of April 1616, was a Public Officer with the CBN, while Emefiele’s wife, Margaret Omoyile, and his brother-in-law, Mac Congo, were directors in Architekon.

Justice Hamza Muazu adjourned the matter until Tuesday for the re-examination of the witness.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.