DSS rearrests Emefiele after faceoff with prison officials

SUSPENDED governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele was on Tuesday, July 25, rearrested by the Department of State Services (DSS), minutes after he was arraigned and granted bail by a Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos.

Emefiele was rearrested within the premises of the court.

The development followed a physical altercation between operatives of the DSS and Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS).

The fight occurred in front of the courtroom where the suspended CBN governor was arraigned.

The prison officials fled the Ikoyi, Lagos, Federal High Court grounds shortly after the altercation. 

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 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.

Emefiele was brought to the court by the DSS officials at 09:21 am.

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, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), told the court that his client had been in detention for weeks. 

Daudu also informed the court that the bail application has been filed and served on the prosecution.

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.

He said the court’s file contained the proof of service authorised by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF).

Dauda pleaded with the court to consider the bail request and end what he regarded as the DSS’ abuse of his client.

However, opposing the bail application, the Federal 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, and providing a civil servant of level 16 or higher to complete 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).

The DSS did not state or give any reason for Emefiele’s arrest.

A reporter with the ICIR
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