Court Delays EFCC Cases Against Emefiele and Sirika for Lamorde’s Burial


ABUJA – The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Tuesday postponed hearings in separate cases involving the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele and former Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika.

The proceedings were adjourned to Wednesday to allow the prosecuting attorneys to attend the burial of former EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Lamorde. The adjournments came despite witnesses already being called to testify in both cases.

In the case of former CBN Governor Emefiele, he faces a four-count charge before Justice Maryanne Anenih at the Maitama branch of the court. Meanwhile, Sirika, his brother Ahmad, and two companies—Enginos Nigeria Limited and Samahah Integrated Investments Limited—face a 10-count charge before Justice Suleiman Belgore at the Garki branch.

Charges Against Emefiele

The EFCC alleges that Emefiele, without authorization from former President Muhammadu Buhari, printed N684 million Naira notes totaling N18.96 billion. Additionally, he is accused of unlawfully approving the withdrawal of approximately N124.8 billion from the consolidated revenue fund. The EFCC contends that Emefiele’s actions were intended to harm the public by bypassing legal protocols.

On May 15, the court granted Emefiele bail set at N300 million. During Tuesday’s session, the prosecution’s first witness, Ahmed Bello Umar, former Director of Currency Operations at the CBN, provided detailed testimony about the bank’s internal structures and decision-making processes.

Witness Testimony

Led by EFCC lawyer Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, Umar explained that the CBN management consists of the Committee of Governors (COG) and the Board of Directors (BOD). The BOD, chaired by the CBN governor and including four deputy governors, is the bank’s highest decision-making body.

Umar recounted that in August 2022, the CBN’s management directed his department to draft a memo on the redesign of the naira notes. This memo was reviewed and modified by the COG before being forwarded for approval by the BOD and the President.

The testimony was interrupted when the prosecution requested an adjournment to attend Lamorde’s burial, a request unopposed by defense lawyer Mahmud Magaji, SAN.

Case Against Sirika

Similarly, the trial of former Aviation Minister Sirika, charged with involvement in a contract award scam, was adjourned shortly after the first witness, Musa Odiniya, a former Director of Procurement in the Federal Ministry of Aviation, began his testimony.

Prosecution counsel Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, requested the adjournment while Odiniya was explaining the procurement processes within the ministry. This request was also unopposed by the defense lawyers, Magaji Numa, SAN, and Sunusi Musa, SAN.

Both cases are set to resume on Wednesday as the court accommodates the burial of the former EFCC chairman.

Mike Ojo

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