Alleged N6.9bn Fraud:Reactions Trail Emefiele’s Purported  Plea Bargain


LAGOS AUGUST 24TH (NEWSRANGERS)-Nigerians are already expressing their outrage over the plea bargain sought by Godwin Emiefele, the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, in the criminal suit filed against him by the federal government.

Social media is already agog with reactions from Nigerians who expressed their disappointment over the move by Emiefele to escape justice; they want the suspended Governor to be tried and face the full wrath of the law.

Emiefele, who is currently facing a 20-count charge before the Federal Capital Territory Court for alleged procurement fraud to the tune of N6.9 billion, conspiracy, and providing corrupt benefits to his accomplices
could be jailed for five years without the option of a fine if found guilty.
But, with the move to settle out of court, Emiefele may not face any custodial sentence.

The embattled Governor was scheduled to be arraigned in the FCT court on Wednesday alongside his co-defendant Sa’adatu Yaro and her business, April 1616 Investment Limited. But they were absent; all other parties were also missing. The case was neither listed in the cause list. The arraignment, initially scheduled for August 17, was stalled due to the absence of Yaro.

Reacting, citizens insist that Emiefele must be punished. Their frustration stems from the hardship they endured during the new naira policy introduced by the suspended Governor.

They described plea bargains as a game of the rich to escape justice, which continues to fuel corruption in the country.

“Oh no!! No plea bargain; he must go to jail. Perhaps that will serve as a deterrent to others,” @blessedpat2018 wrote.

@CharlesIboma tweeted, “The Federal government should not enter into a plea bargaining with Emefiele. Through the backing of his godfather, this feeble-minded man suffered the majority of Nigerians; businesses collapsed, and even some paid supreme prices. Enough of a plea bargain; sinners must pay for their sins.”

@Blaqprince13 also wrote, “That’s the order of the day now … Steal 5b, enter a plea bargain, negotiate and return 3b. These rich folks have mastered the game. The more they stole, the more chances they had to escape justice.

Another netizen, Tony Abolaji, said,

“No plea bargain of any sort. Emefiele broke all the rules, from using Nigeria’s monies to finance his Presidential ambition, weakening the entire country monetarily and then mismanaging our monies on a colossal scale. What plea bargain? He belongs in jail just like some others.”

@Avsuccess22 also wrote, “This man messed up with the economy, and naira let him face the music. What about people who died during the naira scarcity due to his policies? People walk naked begging for their own money to feed their families.”

According to Akorede Kabir, another Nigerian,  “Plea Bargain Should Be Scrapped to make people face the consequence of their actions”.

A former attorney general and commissioner of justice, who preferred to remain anonymous, said:

“Our ruling elite have worked out that the bigger the amount stolen, the more likely you are to walk away with a good chunk of your loot after a “plea bargain”. A plea bargain means a lesser sentence or immunity from prosecution everywhere else. Here, it is a statutorily-sanctioned basis for negotiating how much-stolen money the thief will keep.

In this case, we can safely assume that Mr. Emefiele is probably making a “very strong” case for a “plea bargain”. He ran a racket, and every racketeer has a little notebook with names in it. The book is his calling card.”

Emiefele’s offence

The federal government had initially charged the embattled CBN governor for illegally possessing firearms but asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to withdraw the charges following its investigations.

“That you, Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, male, adult, sometime in 2018 within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did use your position as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria to confer a corrupt advantage on Sa’adatu Ramallan Yaro, a staff member of the Central Bank of Nigeria by awarding a contract for the supply of 37 (Nos.) It stated that Toyota Hilux Vehicles at the cost of N854,700,000 only to April 1616 Investment Ltd, a company in which she is a director and thereby committed an offence”.

It would be recalled that President Bola Tinubu ll on June 9 suspended the CBN governor from office to enable an investigation into allegations against him.

The court sitting in Lagos had, on July 25, admitted Emefiele to a N20million bail on a two-count charge of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and ordered his remand at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre, pending the fulfilment of his bail conditions.


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