Emefiele had, on Monday, pleaded not guilty to all the charges, marking the beginning of Mr Emefiele’s second fraud and corruption trial based on his indictment by Jim Obaze

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Friday, called its first witness as the trial of a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, commenced at the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja, Lagos State.

Mr Osazuwa, a senior supervisor at the CBN, testified in the trial on fresh 26 counts, including alleged $4.5 billion and N2.8 billion fraud, filed against Emefiele, and his co-defendant, Henry Omoile.

The charges include alleged abuse of office, contrary and punishable under Section 73 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2011; accepting gratification, contrary and punishable under Section 8 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000; corrupt demand, contrary and punishable under Section 10 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

They also include receiving property fraudulently obtained, contrary to and punishable under Section 328 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2011; and conferring corrupt advantage, contrary to Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.


Omoile faces only three of the 26 counts, which relate to acceptance of gifts by agents, contrary to Section 65 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.

Recall that Emefiele had, on Monday, pleaded not guilty to all the charges, marking the beginning of Emefiele’s second fraud and corruption trial based on his indictment by Jim Obaze, a special investigator engaged by President Bola Tinubu to investigate the activities of the CBN on his watch.

Based on the findings of the special investigator, the EFCC is prosecuting Emefiele at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja over his alleged corrupt activities as CBN governor.

At Friday’s hearing in Lagos, EFCC’s first prosecution witness, Osazuwa, told the trial judge, Rahman Oshodi, how Emefiele allegedly, corruptly received about $3.1 million from companies like NIPCO Plc and Raja Punjab and conferred corrupt advantage on his associates.

The EFCC, in a statement made available to the media, shared details of Osazuwa’s testimony on Friday.

Osazuwa was led in his testimony by the prosecuting lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

Osazuwa traced his over two-decades relationship with Mr Emefiele to Zenith Bank Plc where they both worked before transitioning to the central bank in 2014.

“I worked with him from 2002 to 2014 at Zenith Bank; and then, 2014 to 2023 at the CBN,” he said.

The witness said he ran errands for Emefiele having earned the latter’s trust.

“Sometime in 2020, he (Mr Emefiele) called me, while he was outside of Lagos, that he would give me a number to call and that I had something to collect for him.

“The person confirmed the same and gave me another number that it was his boy who would give me,” the witness said.

Osazuwa identified the first person as Mohit, who gave him the number of his boy, whom he identified as Mr Raja.

He further said, “So, I got there at Adeola Odeku (in Victoria Island, Lagos) and he welcomed me. I sat down and waited, as he brought the thing and gave me an envelope.

“I said ‘What is in it?’ and Raja brought it out and counted it. Then, I sealed it back.”

He further testified that the envelope contained $100,000 and that Mr Emefiele was not around at the time.

“So, he instructed me to give it to the second defendant for him.

“That was not the end, as after a few weeks’ interval, he (Mr Emefiele) said I should call Mohit, if he had anything.

“Then, again, I collected the money and they were not the same amount.

“The first defendant said I should be finding out every Friday from Mohit if he had anything to give him.”

He also testified that he was sometimes instructed by Emefiele to deposit cheques in the account of Dumies Oil and Gas.

According to him, the second defendant resides in Emefiele’s house in Ikoyi, Lagos.

“The highest money I collected from Mr. Raja was $1 million, and all the money was in cash.

“There was also $850,000, $750,000, and $400,000. I never took anything out of the money. He trusts me. He never said to me that I should take it out of it,” Mr Osazuwa told the judge.

Meanwhile, under cross-examination by the defence counsel, A. Labi-Lawal, Mr Osazuwa reiterated that he only acted on Mr Emefiele’s instruction.

Earlier, Oyedepo prayed the court for accelerated hearing.

He also prayed the judge to allow the first to seventh witnesses to tesify in-camera.

The prosecutor cited safety concerns.

In his response, Mr Labi-Lawal raised no objections to Mr Rotimi’s request for accelerated hearing, but objected to witnesses testifying in-camera.

“The prosecution has not substantiated their claim, and so we want a formal application,” Mr Labi-Lawal was quoted as saying in the EFCC statement.

But, Mr Oyedepo argued, “All we want is the protection of these witnesses, and I believe justice is what we are supposed to be seeking.”

After listening to the lawyers’ arguments, the judge ordered an accelerated hearing.

He, however, ordered that a formal application for a closed-door session of proceedings be filed.

Subsequently, Mr Oshodi adjourned the trial until 29 April.

Earlier on Friday, Mr Oyedepo informed the court that a witness of the prosecution was in court and “we are ready to proceed in open court.”

The defence, however, argued that it was not prepared for commencement of trial.

Mr Labi-Lawal further argued that he was yet to have access to his client to go through the proof of evidence and the allegations, as Mr Emefiele had been in the custody of the EFCC.

But, the judge held that the court had on 8 April adjourned the suit for trial, and so “request by the defence counsel is refused,” paving the way for Friday’s hearing.

Messrs Emefiele and Omoile were granted bail in the sum of N50 million each.

But Mr Emefiele’s defence lawyer urged the judge to grant an interim bail to him pending when he would be able to meet the bail conditions.

Granting the prayer of the defence for interim bail, Mr Oshodi ordered that the defence counsel should file an undertaking to produce Mr Emefiele on the next date.

Mr Oshodi said; “The first defendant will be remanded at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre pending the undertaking by the defence counsel, which I must see.”