From Godwin Tsa, Abuja

Former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele has pleaded not guilty to charges of unlawfully printing Naira notes while in office. He was granted bail of N300 million with two sureties in the same amount.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accused Emefiele of printing N684 million notes, totalling N18.96 billion, without authorization from former President Muhammadu Buhari. He is also accused of illegally approving the withdrawal of N124.8 billion from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

The EFCC alleges that Emefiele acted “with intent to cause injury to the public” by approving the printing of Naira notes without the approval of the President or the CBN board.

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Emefiele pleaded not guilty to all charges before Justice Maryann Anenih of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The prosecution requested a date for the commencement of the full hearing.

Emefiele’s lawyer, Mr Mahmud Magaji, requested bail for his client, suggesting either bail on self-recognition or the adoption of previous bail conditions granted by Justice Hamza Muazu in another pending case. He assured the court that Emefiele would attend his trial.

Justice Anenih granted bail, setting the conditions that the sureties must be residents in Nigeria and own landed property in the Maitama district of Abuja. They must also submit an affidavit of means. Emefiele must surrender his international passport and cannot travel outside the country without permission.

He will be remanded in Kuje prison until the bail conditions are met. The trial is scheduled to begin on May 28 and 29.