Court orders DSS to grant Emefiele access to lawyers, family

A FEDERAL High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to grant the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, access to his lawyer and family members.

Justice Hamza Muazu, who gave the order on Friday, June 16, declared that the embattled Emefiele’s access to his lawyer and family members was his constitutional right.

The ICIR, on June 10, reported that the Department of State Services (DSS) arrested Emefiele over some “investigative reasons.”

Emefiele’s arrest was confirmed by the public relations officer of the DSS, Peter Afunaya, in a tweet posted on the DSS official Twitter handle on Saturday, June 10, few hours after President Bola Ahmed Tinubu suspended and directed him to hand over the affairs of his office to the CBN deputy governor, Operations Directorate, Folashodun Shonubi.

Since Emefiele’s arrest, the DSS has not been granting him access to his lawyers and family members, according to his counsel, J. B. Saudi.

Saudi told the court that the DSS had failed to respond to his letters requesting access to his client for the purpose of taking further instructions from him.

But counsel to the DSS and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), I. Awo Esq, said that the DSS had not rejected such requests.

Iwo assured the court that the secret police would abide by the court order and allow the listed lawyers and family members to visit Emefiele.

The AGF did not oppose the application.

Iwo requested an extension of time to file his clients’ respective responses to the originating motion.

The court granted the request and ordered, “The lawyers of the applicant shall have access to the applicant immediately. And regularly at a reasonable time, pending the determination of the application.”

The court adjourned the suit to Tuesday, June 19, 2023, for hearing in the substantive suit.

Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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