N1.2billion Alleged Procurement Fraud:  Contracts Awarded by Emefiele Didn’t go Through Tender Committee- Witness

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A Third Prosecution Witness, PW3, in the trial of Godwin Emefiele,   former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Oluwole Owoeye, on Tuesday, November 28, 2023, told a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, presided over by Justice Hamza Muazu that all the forty-five (45) contracts awarded by the erstwhile governor of the apex bank, did not go through the Contract’s Tender Committee of the bank.

Owoeye, Head of the Secretariat of the Major Contract Tender Committee, MCTC, disclosed to the court that any contract in excess of N10million must go through MCTC, however, the award of the contracts, though within the threshold of the contract that ought to have gone through MCTC, did not go through the Committee.

The witness also explained that, when contractors submit their bids, it is the responsibility of the Committee to vet the companies by ensuring that the particulars of directors are disclosed to the bank, so as to prevent the award of contracts to companies in which any staff of the CBN is a director.  All these requirements that MCTC would have ensured that they are met, were circumvented as the contracts did not go through the Committee.

The EFCC arraigned Emefiele on Friday, November 17, 20223 on six count charges bordering on procurement fraud.  At Tuesday’s proceedings, prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, called three witnesses, including Owoeye.  The other two witnesses are Samsideen Romanus, an official of the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, and Remigious Ugwu, a compliance officer with a commercial bank.  Both witnesses gave their testimonies before the court.   The court admitted Owoeye’s disclosures as exhibits F1 to F45.

 Justice Muazu thereafter adjourned proceedings in the matter to January 18 & 19, 2024


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