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Emefiele Denies 26-count Charges Before Ikeja Court

Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, and his co-defendant, Henry Isioma-Omoile, on Monday pleaded not guilty to a 26-count charge brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

They were arraigned before Justice Rahman Oshodi of the Ikeja Special Offences Court.

Defence counsel, Mr. A. Labi-Lawal, in two separate bail applications, urged the court to grant the defendants bail on self-recognizance and liberal terms pending the determination of the case.

Labi-Lawal, supported by 31 affidavits, stated that Emefiele had previously complied with a bail application given to him by Justice Muazu in a separate alleged fraud trial case in Abuja. He emphasized that the charges against his clients were bailable and not capital offences.

He said, “Despite being granted administrative bail by the prosecuting authority, the first defendant is seeking bail on self-recognizance and is committed to attending court. The court should also consider his status as the former CBN governor.”

Labi-Lawal highlighted that his client had consistently appeared before Justice Muazu in Abuja to address the allegations against him and stressed that Emefiele was not a flight risk, being the first to arrive in court. He further requested the court to release Emefiele to his lawyer pending the bail determination.

EFCC counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), did not oppose the bail application. However, he urged the court to exercise discretion judiciously when granting bail to the defendants.

Following the plea of the defendants, the prosecution requested a trial date. Justice Oshodi remanded Emefiele in EFCC custody, while Isioma-Omoile was remanded in Ikoyi Custodial Centre. Their bail applications will be determined on April 11.

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