Court voids Emefiele’s arrest, detention, interrogation, and orders immediate release
Coming just 24 hours after a High Court sitting in the Federal Capital Territory directed the release of suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, from detention, another High Court in Abuja on Friday, nullified his arrest and continued detention by the Department of State Services (DSS).
According to a judgment upon an Originating Motion on Notice brought before the Court by Mr. Emefiele, against Incorporated Trustees of Forum for Accountability and Good Leadership, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Inspector General of Police, State Security Service (SSS) and the Central Bank of Nigeria, presiding Judge stated that the arrest, detention and interrogation of Emefiele were in contravention of the subsisting judgment and orders of Justice M. A. Hassan in Suit No. FCT/HC/GAR/CV/41/2022.
Mr. Emefiele through his Counsel, Mr. Peter Abang, had requested the court to set aside, quash, invalidate, and nullify the arrest and detention of the Applicant for being illegal and a nullity given the subsisting judgment of Justice M. A. Hassan delivered on December 29, 2022.
In another prayer granted by Hon. Justice Bello Kawu, the FCT Court ordered the setting aside, voiding, quashing, invalidating, and nullifying any warrant of arrest obtained or procured by the Respondents, especially the DSS for the arrest, detention, and/or interrogation of Mr. Emefiele in connection with the allegations of terrorism financing, fraudulent practices, money laundering, round tripping, threat to national security before or from any court since the date of the judgment of Justice M. A. Hassan.
Also, the High Court granted an injunction restraining the Respondents, especially the DSS from arresting, detaining, further detaining or proceeding against, breaching, or interfering with Mr. Emefiele’s personal liberty and freedom of movement or taking any other steps against him in connection with any allegations of terrorism financing, fraudulent practices, money laundering, round-tripping, a threat to national security before or from any court since the date of the judgment of Justice M. A. Hassan.
The Court also granted an order of injunction directing and mandating the Respondents, particularly the DSS to forthwith release and unfetter Mr. Emefiele from any arrest, detention, custody, interrogation about allegations of terrorism financing, fraudulent practices, money laundering, round-tripping, threat to national security before or from any court given the subsisting judgment of Justice M. A. Hassan.
In his reaction to the latest judgment, Counsel to Mr. Emefiele told journalists that beyond the release of his client, Nigerians must celebrate the fact that Nigerian judges despite several acts of intimidation by security agencies and some unfavorable conditions under which they work are bold to dispense justice not minding whose ox is gored.
He told the DSS to immediately comply with the court’s orders and release his client so that he can go and look after his failing health aggravated by over one month of illegal and unlawful arrest and detention.