Emefiele arraigned, pleads not guilty to firearm charges, granted N20m bail

Godwin Emefiele as he arrived court on Tuesday, July 25, 2023

After six weeks in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS), suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has been arraigned at the federal high court in Ikoyi, Lagos State, on a two-count charge of illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.

The embattled CBN boss, on Tuesday, July 25, 2023, arrived at the court premises around 9:20 am, arraigned before Justice Nicholas Oweibo, on a two-count charge of possessing a single-barrel shotgun (JOJEFF MAGNUM 8371) without a license.

The DSS, had, on July 13, 2023, filed a two-count charge of illegal processions of firearm and ammunition against the suspended CBN governor.

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In the first count, Emefiele is standing trial for his alleged gun possession without a licence, while in the second count, the DSS charged him with illegally possessing 23 rounds of live ammunition (cartridges) without a license, contrary to Section 8 of the Firearms Act and punishable under Section 27 (1)(b)(il) of the same Act.

Meanwhile, the court granted Emefiele bail in the sum of N20 million and one surety as he pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.

In his ruling, Justice Oweibo, the presiding judge, said the charges against Emefiele are bailable.

Recalled after President Bola Tinubu approved the suspension of Emefiele on June 9, 2023, and asked him to transfer his responsibilities to Folashodun Adebisi Shonubi, deputy governor, CBN operations directorate, the day after, the DSS announced that he was in its custody for “some investigative reasons.”