A FEDERAL Capital Territory (FCT) High Court has rejected an application filed by the Department of State Services (DSS) for an order to detain suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele for a further 14 days.
The DSS, in the application, said the request for the 14 days extension was informed by fresh evidence it uncovered in the case against the suspended CBN boss.
It was gathered that the DSS’s legal team discreetly filed the application on Wednesday, July 26.
However, the court presided by Hamza Muazu rejected the application due to jurisdictional issues and abuse of the legal system.
The DSS’s attorney, Victor Ejelonu, decided to withdraw the case when the judge questioned the court’s jurisdiction and pointed out that the Magistrate Court had exclusive authority to issue detention orders under sections 293 and 296 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.
The application came in the wake of Emefiele’s rearrest by the DSS at the premises of the Federal High Court in Lagos, following his remand in a correctional centre pending the fulfilment of his bail conditions.
The ICIR reported that Emefiele was rearrested by the DSS on Tuesday, July 25, minutes after he was arraigned and granted bail by a Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos.
The development followed a physical altercation between operatives of the DSS and the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS).
The ICIR earlier reported on Tuesday, July 25, that the Federal High Court in Lagos granted bail to Emefiele after he was arraigned over charges relating to alleged gun possession.
The court, presided by Nicholas Oweibo, released Emefiele on a N20 million bail bond, with one surety in like sum.
The former apex bank chief was arraigned on two counts of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
A former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) president Joseph Daudu led Emefiele’s legal team.
The suspended Central Bank of Nigeria chief pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him.
After the plea, Daudu told the court that his client had been detained for weeks.
Dauda requested that Emefiele be released on bail on self-recognition, stating that the accused person had satisfied all requirements for the application to be ready for hearing.
The government’s lawyer, who is the Deputy Director of Prosecution (DDP), told the judge that she had “not been given the bail application,” adding, “As I stand here, I have not set eyes on it.”
The judge rejected the Federal Government’s argument that Emefiele posed a flight risk, saying the government had not presented any evidence to support its assertion.
The bail requirement included producing a surety with landed property within the court’s Ikoyi, Lagos, jurisdiction, the deposit of his passport with the court, and providing a civil servant of level 16 or higher to complete the bail.
A High Court in Abuja on July 14 nullified the arrest, detention and interrogation of Emefiele by the DSS.
The court, presided by Bello Kawu, ordered Emefiele’s release and described his arrest and detention as illegal.
Kawu, delivering judgment, held that the arrest, detention and interrogation of the former CBN governor violated the subsisting decision and orders of Justice M. A. Hassan in Suit No. FCT/HC/GAR/CV/41/2022.
The court also granted an injunction restraining the security agencies, particularly the DSS, from interfering with his personal liberty and freedom of movement or taking other steps against him.
The judgment came barely 24 hours after another High Court in Abuja had ordered the release of the suspended CBN governor.
The DSS on Thursday, July 13, said it had filed charges against Emefiele.
This came more than a month after the secret service took Emefiele into custody on June 10.
The ICIR reported that the DSS confirmed the arrest of Emefiele, whom President Bola Tinubu had suspended on June 9.
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).