Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court in Lagos has granted the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, bail of twenty million nairas with one surety.
Justice Oweibo however noted that the embattled former CBN governor should be remanded in prison custody pending the perfection of his bail condition.
Emefiele was charged to court by the State Security Service for having one Single Barrel shot Gun and One Hundred and Twenty-Three Rounds of live ammunition without a license.
Emefiele clad in cream jalabia who entered the dock in his hand with a big red KJV bible pleaded not guilty to the two count charges leveled against him.
Following the not-guilty plea, his lawyer, His counsel, Joseph Daodu SAN, who led six other Senior Advocates, urged the court to grant bail on self-recognizance or other liberal terms, pending the hearing and determination of the trial.
“There is no counter affidavit from the federal government, this is an unopposed application. He is a renowned banker and can only stay at his house, he can’t travel anywhere.”
But the federal government in its oral response opposed the application saying that it hadn’t been given time to respond, In the spirit of fair hearing enshrined in the constitution. Ms. Jones added that they have information that the defendant’s refusal to hand in his passport suggests his capacity to evade and absconds from his trial.
“As the governor of the CBN, he is a powerful man and can intimidate the witnesses.
Granting him bail will intimidate the prosecution’s witnesses who have come forward to give evidence. He can evade trial based on his antecedents. We urge the court to dismiss the bail application.”
Earlier, the Court rejected the Federal Government’s claim that it had not received a copy of the bail application filed by the suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele in his alleged gun possession trial.
Justice Nicholas Oweibo held that there was evidence that the government was served.
The Federal Government, prosecuting him, maintained that the offense was contrary to Section 4 of the Firearms Act, 2004, and punishable under Section 27 (1b).
In the second count, the suspended CBN Governor was accused of having in his possession 123 rounds of live ammunition (Cartridges) without a license, which was contrary to Section 8 of the Firearms Act 2004 and punishable under Section 27 (1)(b)(il) of the same Act.
The matter has been adjourned till November 14 for the commencement of trial