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How Emefiele Awarded Contracts to Wife and In-Law in CBN Scandal – EFCC

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A dramatic revelation unfolded at the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, where a witness from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Agboro Omowera, detailed how former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, allegedly funneled multi-million contracts to companies linked to his close relatives. The EFCC accuses Emefiele of using his influential position to benefit his wife, Margret, and brother-in-law, directing a total sum of N97.9 million to Architekon Nigeria Ltd for office furniture supplies to the CBN, a company where both relatives hold director positions.

During a cross-examination by the defendant’s counsel, Mathew Burkaa (SAN), Omowera disclosed that ten officials minuted on the documents facilitating these contracts, but ultimately, the responsibility fell squarely on Emefiele’s shoulders as the head of the CBN. “He is the head of the CBN, and the buck stops at his table,” Omowera stated, emphasizing the former governor’s pivotal role in the contract award process.

The investigation, spearheaded by Omowera as the seventh prosecution witness, brought to light that Margret Omoyile Emefiele used her maiden name to register Architekon Nigeria Limited, deliberately obscuring her connection to the CBN Governor. Additionally, the probe uncovered dealings with April 1616 Investment Ltd, a company awarded numerous contracts for supplying over 45 Toyota Hilux vehicles, transactions ranging from N854,700,000 to N99,900,000. Sa`adatu Yaro, a CBN employee and director of April 1616, was pinpointed as a central figure in this intricate web of nepotism, raising questions about the integrity of CBN’s procurement process.

Investigators, including personnel from the Department of State Services, were baffled by April 1616’s repeated success in winning bids for Toyota vehicles, despite lacking accreditation and a proven track record. This anomaly highlighted potential breaches in the bidding process and suggested preferential treatment facilitated by internal connections.

The court proceedings, presided over by Judge Hamza Muazu, are set to continue on April 25, promising to delve deeper into the allegations that have cast a shadow over the reputation of one of Nigeria’s most prominent financial institutions. This case not only puts Emefiele and his associates under scrutiny but also shines a spotlight on the need for transparency and accountability in the management of public funds.

With the EFCC’s declaration of Emefiele’s wife and three others as wanted for their alleged involvement in embezzling federal government funds, the trial has gripped the nation’s attention, uncovering the layers of corruption that threaten to undermine Nigeria’s financial governance. As the legal battle unfolds, the outcome will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications for the country’s fight against corruption and the safeguarding of public assets.

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