It’s been a roller coaster experience for the suspended Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele who was arrested by the District State Services (DSS) since June 2023…..CONTINUE READING....CONTINUE READING
On Tuesday, July 25, the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja granted Emefiele bail of N20 million with surety of equivalent amount. The presiding judge, Justice Nicholas Oweibo also ruled that;
“The surety must be owner of a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court who must not be less than Level 16 in the Nigerian Civil Service.
“The defendant must deposit his international passport to the court.
“Case is adjourned to 14th of November for trial.”
The Judge ordered that the apex bank suspended Governor would be in the custody of Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), pending when he would meet his bail terms. But DSS refused and insisted that the prisoner would be in their custody. This resulted to a physical outburst between the two officials.
Justice Nicholas also adjourned the trial to November 14, 2023.
Emefiele who pleaded “Not Guilty” to the charges of financing terrorism leveled against him, was locked up in DSS for over two weeks. He was finally taken to court after the court orders DSS to either put him in trial or discharge him.
After the court ruling, Emefiele remained in the courtroom for hours as words hit to them that the DSS were at the entrance door, heavily armed and waiting to re-arrest him. After hours of waiting, an official from NCos went to the door to confront the DSS and asked them to obey the court’s order. They both got physical as DSS insisted that they must carry out the order of the magistrate court, the two officials tore each other’s clothes, causing a scene at the court environment.
Upon investigation, an anonymous witness said DSS had an arrest warrant from the Magistrate court to re-arrest Emefiele.
“The arrest warrant was based on an allegation of financing terrorism. We don’t know the propriety of the arrest warrant because a copy has not been made available to the defence team.
“We don’t know why the DSS will obtain an arrest warrant from a magistrate’s court when a Federal High Court has already granted him bail. This is impunity of the highest order,” the witness said.
In reaction to this development that left the court in chaos and everyone running helter-skelter, former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Ekiti State, Dayo Akinlaja, described the incident as clumsy and inappropriate.
“The way it is, I suspect that the DSS took him into further custody with respect to other cases they may be investigating against him. However, the civil and legitimate approach would have been for them to formally apply to the court and make a case for their continual custody of him.
“Be that as it may, nothing can justify the manhandling of the staff of the correctional service by the men of the DSS even when the cause of it is not known to the general public.
“There is a need for the federal government to stem the tide of such ugly spectacles that appear to be on the rise in recent years. Appropriate synergy and interaction at the top levels of the two agencies would have averted the global embarrassment the scuffles are capable of exposing the country to. Moreover, it calls into question whether our democracy is deepening or atrophying,” Dayo told journalists.
Justice Abeny Mohammed (SAN), also condemned the act by DSS, said it was reckless.
“Having charged Emefiele before a competent court, they are bound by the ruling transferring the accused to a correctional facility by the court. If DSS are dissatisfied with the ruling, the only option open to them is to appeal the ruling and not to resort to self-help, gangsterism and lay siege to the court. It is another sad day for the judiciary and rule of law in the country,”Abeny commented…..CONTINUE READING