Goodwin Emefiele, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s suspended govornor, failed as planned on Thursday at the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja.
Though Emefiele was in Court, the second defendant, Saadatu Yaro was absent in Court prompting the arraignment to be shifted till August 23.
Counsel to the Federal Government and Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation, Mohammed Abubakar told Justice Hamza Muazu that Mrs Saadat Yaro suddenly took ill and was unable to make it to the Court.
Emefiele, Saadatu and her company April 1616 were billed for arraignment on fresh 20-count charge bordering on alleged procurement fraud.
The controversial central bank governor has been in custody since his suspension from office on June 9, 2023.
In the Meantime, a Federal High Court in Lagos has given authorized the dismissal of the case of illegal firearm ownership charge filed against the suspended CBN Governor.
On the 25th of July, Emefiele was charged with two counts of “illegal possession” of guns and was granted bail in the amount of N20 million.
Judge Nicholas Oweibo had directed that Emefiele be held in the care of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) until the fulfilment of his bail requirements.
However, the DSS maintained that Emefiele must return to its custody, which resulted in the confrontation between the secret police and prison authorities. The DSS then re-arrested Emefiele on the court grounds following the confrontation.
On August 3, the federal government submitted a request asking for permission to appeal the decision granting bail to Emefiele.
However, on August 15, the federal government submitted an oral application to withdraw the charge of “illegal possession of firearms” against.
Mohammed Abubakar, the director of public prosecution (DPP) of the federation, said that the decision to drop the case is supported by sections 174 (1) and (3) of the 1999 constitution as well as sections 108 (1), (2), and (4) of the 2015 Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA).
The DPP claimed that “emerging facts and circumstances of this case that required closer investigation” were the basis for the withdrawal application.
The judge decided on the case on Thursday and ruled that the federal government has the authority to drop the accusation.
The judge said, “The prosecution has shown that they are not law-abiding and have no respect for the court, the court cannot force them. What good will it be for the defendant who is in custody? Of what benefit will it be to keep the file in the court’s docket?
“I believe the proper thing is to allow them withdraw the charge. They can simply abandon it and the court will still have to strike it out for lack of diligent prosecution. The application to withdraw is hereby granted.”
However, the federal government went on to file a 20-count criminal charge against Emefiele in Abuja.