By Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja.
The hope of an early release of former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, Godwin Emefiele, appears not to be in sight as the Federal Government on Sunday distanced itself from a N50B planned non-prosecution plea bargain.
Emefiele was reported to have entered into a plea bargain with government on condition of surrendering N50B 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 Chief on series of charges comprising money laundering, breach of Public Procurement Act and abuse of office.
However on Sunday, the Attorney General of the Federation AGF and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, said that there was no iota of truth in the plea bargain deal.
Fagbemi said that neither his office or the Presidency have had anything of such nature with Emefiele.
The position of the Federal Government was made public in a statement by the Director of Information in the Federal Ministry of Justice Mrs Modupe Ogundoro.
The statement reads in part “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 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”, the statement said.