President Bola Tinubu’s government has dismissed claims that it entered into a N50 billion planned non-prosecution plea bargain with the former governor of the Central Bank (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.
Emefiele was reported to have entered into a plea bargain with the government on the condition of surrendering N50 billion to facilitate his early release from the custody of the Department of the State Service (DSS).
The plea bargain was also said to be aimed at cancelling the trial of the former CBN Governor on a series of charges comprising money laundering, breach of the Public Procurement Act and abuse of office.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, however, urged Nigerians to disregard media report of the alleged plea bargain deal.
Fagbemi stated that neither his office nor the presidency have had anything of such communication with Emefiele.
“The attention of the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has been drawn to a report by Sahara Reporters alleging that the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele and the Federal Government of Nigeria, have agreed to a non- prosecution plea bargain arrangement,” the statement by the director of information, Federal Ministry of Justice, Modupe Ogundoro, said.
“The report further alleges that Mr. Godwin Emefiele and the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, have signed a non-prosecution plea bargain agreement and that the agreement is awaiting the signature of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice hereby states clearly that these reports are completely false.
“It would be noted that the legal team representing Mr. Godwin Emefiele had expressed their intention in court at the last hearing to initiate a plea bargain arrangement.
“However, no such arrangement has been reached with Mr. Godwin Emefiele or his representatives. We wish to advise the media and members of the public to kindly disregard the said false report.
“The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice will continue to take all actions in the interest of the Nigerian public.”