The suspended CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, has been granted bail in the sum of N20 million with one surety in like sum.
The bail was granted by a federal high court in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Tuesday.
In his ruling, the judge, Nicholas Oweibo, said the charges against the defendant were bailable.
Mr Emefiele, through his lawyer, Joseph Daodu, had moved his bail application before the judge.
He had earlier pleaded during the hearing not guilty to two counts of illegal possession of firearms and live ammunition.
The SSS arrested Mr Emefiele at his home in Lagos on 10 June and immediately flew him to Abuja to face interrogation.
He was brought to the federal court on Tuesday at 9:21 a.m. by officers of the State Security Service (SSS).
Earlier in the hearing, Mr Daodu, a senior lawyer, had urged the court to grant bail to his client on self-recognisance or other liberal terms, pending the hearing and determination of the trial.
“There is no counter affidavit from the federal government. This is an unopposed application. He is a renowned banker and can only stay at his house. He can’t travel anywhere,” he told the court.
But the deputy director of prosecutions at the office of the attorney general of the federation, Nkiru Jones-Nebo, opposed the application saying that the prosecution had not been given time to respond.
In the spirit of fair hearing enshrined in the constitution, Ms Jones added that they have information that the defendant’s refusal to hand in his passport suggests his capacity to evade and abscond from his trial.
“As the governor of the CBN, he is a powerful man and can intimidate the witnesses. Granting him bail will intimidate the prosecution witnesses who have come forward to give evidence. He can evade trial based on his antecedents. We urge the court to dismiss the bail application.”
But the court had rejected the federal government’s claim that it had not received a copy of the bail application filed by Mr Emefiele in his alleged gun possession trial.
Justice Oweibo held that there was evidence that the government was served.
Mr Emefiele is standing trial on a two-count charges, which accuses him of possessing a single-barrel shotgun (JOJEFF MAGNUM 8371) without a licence on June 15 at Ikoyi.
The federal government maintained that the offence was contrary to Section 4 of the Firearms Act, 2004, and punishable under Section 27 (1b) of the same Act.
In the second count, the suspended CBN governor was accused of having in his possession 123 rounds of live ammunition (Cartridges) without a licence, which was contrary to Section 8 of the Firearms Act 2004 and punishable under Section 27 (1)(b)(il) of the same Act.
He has pleaded not guilty to both counts.Follow us on social media