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Nigeria: suspended Central Bank governor appears in court

Nigeria's suspended Central Bank governor, Godwin Emefiele.   -  
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PHILIP OJISUA/AFP or licensors


Nigeria's suspended Central Bank governor, Godwin Emefiele, appeared in court on Tuesday in Lagos on charges of illegal possession of a firearm and live ammunition.

Emefiele was suspended in early June by Nigeria's new president Bola Tinubu and subsequently detained by the Department of State Services (DSS), the country's secret police.

He arrived at the court in Lagos carrying a large red Bible and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The presiding judge, Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court, granted Emefiele bail on Tuesday despite objections from the attorney general's office. The case has been adjourned until the start of Emefiele's trial in November. 

After dramatic scenes of confusion between the DSS and prison officers from the Nigeria Correctional Centre over whose custody the suspended governor would remain under, the DSS took charge and placed Emefiele under arrest once more.

The once-powerful CBN governor has seen his fortunes change dramatically since Tinubu's election.

Accused last year by the DSS of terrorism financing and economic crimes, Emefiele was removed from his role shortly after President Tinubu took office and ordered an investigation. The governor was then arrested a day later on June 10 and has been in detention since. 

Emefiele's brother George said the situation was "unfortunate" and labeled him a "giant of Africa."

"It is unfortunate that this is happening in Nigeria, a democratic nation, a nation that is blessed with people with integrity,” George Emefiele added.

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