EFCC reveals how Emefiele approved payment of $6,230,000 for international election observers


EFCC Witness Testifies: Emefiele Approved $6.23 Million Cash Payment for Election Observers

In a significant development in the trial of former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, the First Prosecution Witness, Ogau Onyeka Michael, revealed startling details on Monday, February 12, 2024, before Justice Hamza Muazu of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Maitama, Abuja.

Mr. Michael, a former branch controller of the CBN in Abuja, testified about how Emefiele allegedly approved the payment of $6,230,000 in cash for international election observers during the 2023 general election. Emefiele is facing a 20-count amended charge, including allegations of corrupt advantages, conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, forgery, and obtaining by false pretenses.

During his testimony, Mr. Michael stated that on January 8, 2023, a request for the payment of $6,230,000 reached his office. The documents for the disbursement of the funds were reportedly approved by Emefiele himself. The request specified that the money was intended for election observance and should be paid in cash, with a directive for reimbursement by the Federal Ministry of Finance in the second quarter of 2023.

According to Mr. Michael, the documents bore the signatures of the Director of Banking Services, the then Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and the President of Nigeria. He further explained the process of reviewing and approving the request before it was processed and the payment was made on April 8, 2023.

During the court proceedings, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, sought to tender six documents as exhibits, including original copies and photocopies of approvals from the former SGF and the President. Defense counsel, Mathew Bukka, SAN, objected to the tendering of photocopies, arguing for an adjournment to allow for the presentation of original documents.

Justice Muazu subsequently adjourned the matter to February 13, 2024, for the continuation of the trial, considering the arguments presented by both parties.

The testimony provided by Mr. Michael sheds light on the alleged involvement of Emefiele in authorizing substantial cash payments, adding a new dimension to the ongoing legal proceedings.

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