Suspended CBN Governor, Emefiele Pleads Not Guilty To Criminal Charge
The suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has pleaded not guilty to a two-count charge of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
After the plea, the lead counsel to Emefiele, Joseph Daudu (SAN), told the court that his client has been in detention for the past four weeks without being arraigned in court.
The senior lawyer also told the presiding judge, Justice Nicholas Oweibo that the application for bail has been filed and served on the prosecution.
Meanwhile, the DSS raised objections to the court hearing the bail application, insisting that it has not been served.
Emefiele would later ask the court to admit him to bail on self recognizance but the court has not ruled on the matter.
Earlier, the Department of State Services (DSS) had brought Emefiele to court for arraignment following the order of a court.
Operatives of the state police arrived at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, around 9:18 am on Tuesday for the arraignment of the suspended apex bank governor.
Recall that President Bola Tinubu suspended Emefiele as the apex bank chief on June 9, 2023. A day after, the DSS confirmed that the embattled, suspended CBN chief was in its custody.
However, on Abuja High Court on July 13, 2023, subsequently ordered that the secret police charge Emefiele to court within one week or release him.
Hours after, the DSS said Emefiele has been charged to court in compliance with the court order.
The Federal Government later filed two counts of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition against Emefiele before the Federal High Court in Lagos.
In the charge sheet, the DSS accused Emefiele of possessing a single-barrel shotgun (JOJEFF MAGNUM 8371) without a licence.
The government maintained that the offence is contrary to Section 4 of the Firearms Act, Cap F28 Laws of the Federation 2004, and punishable under Section 27 (1b) of the same Act.
In the second count, the suspended CBN Governor was accused of having in his possession 123 rounds of live ammunition (Cartridges) without a licence, which is contrary to Section 8 of the Firearms Act Cap F28 Laws of the Federation 2004 and punishable under Section 27 (1)(b)(il) of the same Act.