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EFCC Opposes CBN Ex-Governor Emefiele’s Request For Overseas Medical Trip

Anti-Graft Agency, EFCC Opposes CBN Ex-Governor Emefiele’s Request For Overseas Medical Trip

THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has opposed former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele’s request to have his passport released in order to travel abroad for medical treatment.

It was learnt that Abdulakeem Labi-Lawal, Emefiele’s counsel, earlier filed an affidavit requesting that his passport be released so that he might travel to the United Kingdom for a medical treatment.

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However, EFCC objected to the application because the commission felt it would affect the ongoing prosecution of Emefiele for alleged corruption.

Monday’s affidavit by the defence and the counter-affidavit by the prosecution were in furtherance of the ones made earlier on the matter on June 25, 2024, by both teams.

A statement on Monday by the commission’s Head of Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, said the prosecution counsel, Muhammad Omeiza, in furtherance to the counter-affidavit, told the court that there was no medical report before the court showing that Emefiele was plagued by an ailment

He added that if there was, there was no evidence to support that it could not be treated locally in Nigeria.

“Omeiza further noted that Emefiele deposited his passport with the court as part of the fulfillment of his bail conditions, arguing that releasing it to him would amount to the court varying his bail conditions,“ the statement added.

Oyewale said the EFCC’s lawyer also argued that Emefiele was a flight risk.

“The defendant has co-conspirators all over the world. One Anita and Tony are all aides of the defendant who are currently in the UK. The defendant might be tempted to jump bail because he is standing trial in three different courts,” Oyewale quoted Omeiza as saying.

In response, Oyewale said the defence counsel dismissed the prosecution’s arguments as speculative, noting that the prosecution can issue an international red alert on the defendant to enable his arrest if he made the overseas medical trip and refused to come back.

He said the trial judge, Justice Hamza Mu’azu, after listening to both counsel, adjourned ruling on the application till July 16, 2024.

The former CBN governor is facing trial in three separate cases before different judges.

With Justice Mu’azu, he is being tried for procurement fraud, forgery of former President Muhammadu Buhari’s signature, and other charges.

Before Justice Rahman Oshodi at the Special Offences Court in Ikeja, Lagos, Emefiele is charged with alleged fraud involving $4.5 billion and N2.8 billion.

Additionally, Emefiele appeared before Justice Maryann Anenih of the FCT High Court in Abuja for allegedly approving the printing of N684.5 million notes at the cost of N18.96billion.

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