Former CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, Allegedly Pressured Witness to Pay $600,000 for Contract

In a gripping testimony before the Lagos State Special Offences Court, Victor Onyejiuwa, a prosecution witness, recounted how he was allegedly pressured to pay $600,000 for the award of a contract during the tenure of former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele. Emefiele, along with his co-defendant Henry Omoile, is facing a 26-count charge in an ongoing trial.

According to Onyejiuwa, who is the Managing Director of Resource Computer Limited, his company provided information and communication technology services to both private and public enterprises, including the CBN, between 2014 and 2019. He stated that his company was awarded at least five contracts during this period, including an “enterprise storage and servers” contract by the CBN in 2017.

Onyejiuwa testified that after executing the contract, he was approached by a former director at the CBN who indicated that the management required something from the transaction. The director allegedly warned Onyejiuwa that if he did not comply, the payment for the contract would be delayed. Feeling pressured, Onyejiuwa eventually agreed to pay $600,000 to facilitate the payment of the contract funds.

When questioned about the amounts allocated for the contracts executed for the CBN, Onyejiuwa revealed that the highest contract sum was $1.2 billion in 2017 and late 2018. He also mentioned smaller payments of N24 million and N17 million.

Emefiele’s legal counsel argued that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter as it pertained to foreign exchange, which falls under the Exclusive List in the constitution. The defense was granted leave to appeal this decision at the appellate court.

Justice Rahman Oshodi adjourned the case till May 17, 2024, for the continuation of the trial, allowing time for further examination of the evidence presented by the prosecution witness.

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