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An investigator at Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency, ICPC, Agboro Michael, has told the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Abuja that an erstwhile Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, awarded contracts to two obscure companies belonging to his wife and a CBN staff member.

While Mr Emefiele’s wife, Margaret, owns Architekon Nigeria Limited, the CBN staff member, who allegedly benefitted from the controversial contracts, Sa’adatu Yaro, owned the April1616 Investment Limited, according to the investigator.

The two companies – Architekon Nigeria Limited and April1616 Investment Limited – were awarded multiple contracts for the renovation of the CBN governor’s lodge in Lagos as well as the supply of power lines and vehicles for the bank.

Mr Emefiele, who was the governor of the CBN for nearly a decade, faces corruption charges preferred against him after President Bola Tinubu removed him from office last June.

He is being prosecuted on amended 20 counts of conferment of corrupt advantages, conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, forgery and obtaining by false pretence to the tune of $6.23 million.

Mr Emefiele denied the charges during his re-arraignment in January.

Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Oyedepo Rotimi, Mr Michael said he alongside investigators from sister agencies interrogated Mr Emefiele in the course of investigating his activities as the head of the central bank.

During the interagency investigation comprising the ICPC, EFCC, Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), and the State Security Service (SSS), Mr Michael said Mr Emefiele’s wife, Margaret, and her brother, Marcombo Omoile, were director and shareholder, respectively, of Architekon Nigeria Limited.

Mr Michael, who is the seventh prosecution witness in the trial, said Architekon Nigeria Limited was incorporated in 2009, five years before Mr Emefiele was appointed CBN governor.

“The company (Architecture Nigeria Limited) began enjoying CBN patronage after the defendant’s appointment as CBN governor,” Mr Michael said.

The witness said a team of investigators wrote banks and the Corporate Affairs Commission, requesting documents concerning the registration and bank statements of Architekon Nigeria Limited and April1616 Investment Limited.

“We found out that Architekon Nigeria Limited was incorporated in 2009, the directors and shareholders were the defendant’s wife, Omoile Margaret, and his brother-in-law Marcombo Omoile.

“We discovered that the company before Emefiele’s appointment at CBN, though in existence, had never had any contractual dealings with the CBN until his appointment.

Also, we discovered that the name of his wife was stated as Margaret Omoile despite the fact that she was married to Emefiele.

“After the defendant’s appointment in 2014, the company started to enjoy the patronage of the CBN.”

Omoile is Magaret Emefiele’s maiden surname.

Testifying further, Mr Michael said an investigative report issued after the inter-agencies probe detailed the outcome of the investigations on Mr Emefiele’s transactions involving relatives and associates during his time in office as CBN governor.

Credit: Premium Times

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