Nigerian court grants ex-central bank head Emefiele bail after five months

By Camillus Eboh

ABUJA (Reuters) – A Nigerian court on Wednesday granted bail to former central bank governor Godwin Emefiele, who is charged with procurement fraud and has been in detention since June.

Emefiele appeared in court for the first time since August after Judge Olukayode Adeniyi on Monday ordered he should be released unconditionally or be brought to court. He is facing a 20-count fraud charge.

“There must be an end to detention without trial. Without any further ado, I hereby order that the applicants be released on bail to his counsel,” the judge said.

The court granted Emefiele bail on the condition that he surrender his passport to the court and his lawyers produce him in court on Nov. 15 for another hearing. No monetary bail bond was required for Emefiele’s release.

His trial has stalled since August when the security agencies failed to present him in court to enter a plea.

Emefiele, who has not commented publicly on the case, was suspended by President Bola Tinubu on June 9 and was arrested a day later.

He resigned in August, paving the way for the appointment of new central bank governor Olayemi Cardoso in September.

(Reporting by Camillus Eboh; Writing by Elisha Bala-Gbogbo; Editing by Alison Williams)