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Emefiele pleads not guilty to amended 20-count charge, trial adjourned to Feb

Godwin Emefiele, suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele, suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

Godwin Emefiele, former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has pleaded not guilty to the amended criminal charge filed against him by the federal government.

BACKGROUND

On Thursday, the federal government amended the criminal charge it filed against the former CBN governor.

The charge was previously six counts but was increased to 20 counts.

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The amended charge borders on criminal breach of trust, forgery, conspiracy to commit forgery, procurement fraud and conspiracy to commit a felony.

Emefiele was arraigned on November 18, and had pleaded not guilty to the six-count charge.

On Thursday, Rotimi Oyedepo, counsel of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), said he had served the defence team with an amended charge.

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While responding, Mathew Burkaa, Emefiele’s counsel, said he would need some time to study the new charge before his client could enter a plea.

The court also granted Emefiele permission to travel within Nigeria but restrained him from leaving the country during the pendency of the case.

The presiding judge adjourned the case to January 19.

TRIAL ADJOURNED

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At the resumed hearing on Friday, Hamza Mu’azu, the presiding judge, read all the 20-count charge to the former CBN governor.

Emefiele pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Subsequently, the presiding judge adjourned the trial to February 12 and 13.

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