Former Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who has been held in detention by the Department of State Services (DSS), is on the brink of release as he concludes a plea bargain with the administration of President Bola Tinubu.
It has come to light that the plea bargain arrangement for Emefiele is centered on his willingness to return N50 billion, which he is alleged to have accumulated through corrupt means.
Notably, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Lateef Fagbemi, has already signed off on the non-prosecution plea bargain, awaiting Tinubu’s approval.
In August, SaharaReporters had reported that Emefiele was facing 20 counts of conspiracy and procurement fraud charges filed against him by the Nigerian government. On August 17, 2023, he was brought to court under strict security measures.
A reliable source revealed on Friday, “The exclusive deal has been finalized awaiting Tinubu’s order. Tinubu is expected back in Nigeria this weekend after a medical visit to France. The DSS traced N72 billion to a series of accounts that Emefiele had planned to use for his presidential run. Additionally, $70 million that he concealed with a couple who specialized in helping him conduct round-tripping was discovered.”
The source continued, “Federal investigators have traced ownership of Polaris bank to Emefiele, as well as several other banks he used people to set up.”
SaharaReporters had previously reported that the couple, Aminu Yaro and his wife Saadatu Yaro, had been arrested by the DSS on July 12 in connection with investigations into Emefiele’s alleged wrongdoings. Aminu Yaro, described as the Sarkin Hausawa of Lagos and Chairman of the Council of Chiefs, was arrested at their Abuja residence on July 12.
The couple’s arrest was linked to investigations into a case involving Emefiele, particularly relating to forex differential fraud.
Furthermore, SaharaReporters had reported in August that the fundamental rights enforcement suit filed against the DSS and the AGF by two of Emefiele’s brothers had been withdrawn at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The court’s vacation judge, Justice Emmanuel Okpe, had struck out the suit following the applicants’ decision to discontinue the case.
Moreover, Emefiele’s trial at the High Court of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had stalled due to his intention to enter into plea bargaining for a more lenient resolution.
Lawyers involved in the case disclosed that Emefiele had chosen to engage in plea bargaining with the prosecution team, stating, “The matter is not coming up; they are finding another way to resolve the matter and give him a soft landing.”