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EFCC declares Emefiele’s wife, 3 others wanted

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has declared Mrs. Margaret Emefiele, wife of a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, and three others, wanted for money laundering.

Mrs. Emefiele, Mr. Eric Odoh, Anita Omoile and her husband, Jonathan Omoile, were declared wanted on Friday night for allegedly conspiring with the former CBN Governor “to convert huge sums of money belonging to the Federal Government of Nigeria and committed felony to wit: obtaining money by false pretences, and stealing, contrary to and punishable under Sections 411, 287, and 314 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State”.

Details of their alleged money laundering offences were revealed by the EFCC in a mugshot portrait of the four suspects late Friday night.

The document read: “Emefiele, Odoh, Mr and Mrs Omoile, wanted by the EFCC. The quartet of Eric Odoh, Margaret Emefiele, Anita Omoile and Jonathan Omoile, are wanted by the EFCC for offences bothering on economic and financial crimes. Any information on their whereabout? Please contact the nearest EFCC Command or the nearest police station…”

An EFCC document entitled, ‘Arrests and Recoveries’, which was earlier exclusively obtained by The PUNCH, revealed that the former CBN Governor is being prosecuted by the EFCC for ₦ 1.8 billion and $6.2 million fraud.

Also, the Federal Government has, for the third time, amended the criminal charges it filed against Emefiele.

In the latest amended charge taken before Justice Hamza Muazu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja on Thursday, the anti-graft agency accused Emefiele of impersonating the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) to illegally obtain $6.2 million.

According to the amended charge marked CR/577/2023, Emefiele, on 8th February 2023, connived with one Odoh Ocheme, who is now on the run, to obtain $6.2 million from the CBN, claiming that it was requested by the SGF “vide a letter dated 26th January 2023 with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/201″.

According to the EFCC, Emefiele allegedly claimed that the SGF requested the CBN to release “a contingent logistic advance in the sum of $6,230,000.00 in line with Mr. President’s directive”.

EFCC said that Emefiele made the claim despite knowing that it was false, “and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act”.

Still in the amended charge, the anti-graft agency alleged that, in January 2023, Emefiele forged a document titled: “Re: Presidential.directive on foreign election observers mission”, dated 26th January 2023 with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/201.

He said to have allegedly connived with the fleeing Ocheme to commit the “illegal act to wit: forgery”.

Furthermore, Emefiele was accused of conferring corrupt advantage on his wife, Omoile Margret, and brother-in-law, Omoile Macombo, by allegedly awarding a contract for the renovation of a portion of the CBN Governor’s residence in Lagos to the tune of N99.8 million.

The anti-graft agency alleged that the contract for the renovation of the CBN Governor’s lodge, located at No. 2 Glover Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, was awarded to a company named Messrs. Architekon Nigeria Limited, “wherein the duo are directors and majority shareholders”.

The EFCC said that  Emefiele’s alleged action was a violation of Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

The amended charge sheet contains a total of 20 counts against Emefiele.

The judge adjourned till Friday for Emefiele to take his plea on the amended charges.

In the original charge filed against him in August 2023, Emefiele was accused of perpetrating procurement fraud to the tune of N6.5 billion.

He was then charged alongside a female CBN employee, Sa’adatu Yaro, and her company, April 1616 Investment.

The EFCC later amended the charge by reducing the counts to six, removing the names of Yaro and April 1616 Investment, and reducing the quantum of the alleged procurement fraud to N1.2 billion.

Emefiele was arraigned on the second charge on 29th November 2023, and he pleaded not guilty.

The EFCC subsequently opened its trial and had so far called three witnesses before the latest amendment.

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