DSS says it has filed charges against Emefiele

THE Department of State Services (DSS) on Thursday, July 13, said it has filed charges against the suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele.

This is coming more than a month after Emefiele was taken into custody by the secret police on June 10.

The DSS made the disclosure in a statement by its spokesman, Peter Afunanya.

Afunanya said Emefiele was charged to court in compliance with an order issued by a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court earlier on Thursday.

However, the DSS spokesman did not disclose the identity of the court where Emefiele was charged and the specific charges levelled against him.

“Sequel to an Abuja high court order of today, July 13, 2023, the Department of State Services (DSS) hereby confirms that Mr Godwin Emefiele has been charged to court in compliance with the order.

“The public may recall that the Service had, in 2022, applied for a court order to detain him in respect of a criminal investigation.

“Though he obtained a restraining order from an FCT High Court, the Service, however, arrested him in June 2023, on the strength of suspected fresh criminal infractions/information, one of which forms the basis for his current prosecution,” the statement released by the DSS spokesman reads.

The DSS assured the public of “professionalism, justice and fairness” in handling the matter and discharging its duties.

The ICIR reported that an FCT High Court on Thursday issued a seven days ultimatum to the DSS to charge Emefiele to court or release him.

The court gave the order after hearing a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by Emefiele to challenge his arrest and detention by the DSS.

The presiding judge, Hamza Muazu, noted that while Emefiele has not demonstrated that his detention and investigation were illegal, it is within his rights to have a fair hearing.

The judge added that the suspended CBN governor cannot be held in custody without a formal charge and that the DSS is not permitted to look for evidence against Emefiele while he is being held.

Muazu described the DSS as a renowned organisation tasked with ensuring the nation’s internal security and demanded that it carry out its duties strictly in accordance with the Constitution.

Emefiele filed a lawsuit against the Director General of the DSS and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to have his fundamental human rights to freedom of movement and respect for life enforced.

In the suit marked FCT/HC/CV/6450/23, the suspended CBN governor had applied that his arrest and detention since June 10 without valid order of court be voided and set aside.

Emefiele demanded compensation of N5 million as exemplary damages for his alleged unlawful detention.

The ICIR reported that the DSS confirmed the arrest of Emefiele, whom President Bola Tinubu suspended on June 9.

    The ICIR also reported that Tinubu suspended Emefiele with immediate effect and directed him to hand over the affairs of the CBN to the deputy governor, operations directorate, Folashodun Shonubi.

    Emefiele’s suspension was announced in a statement released on June 9 by Willie Bassey, director of information, Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

    The DSS did not state or give any reason for Emefiele’s arrest. However, it may not be unconnected with the allegations the agency had levelled against him.

    The DSS, in 2022, attempted to arrest Emefiele, accusing him of financing terrorism, aiding and abetting terrorism, and committing other economic crimes.

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