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Abuja Court Orders EFCC to Release Former Central Bank Governor Emefiele

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ABUJA, Nigeria — Justice A.O. Adeniyi of the High Court at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Abuja on Friday, November 3, 2023, directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to release Godwin Emefiele, the immediate past governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, who had been held in detention.

The court’s mandate came on the heels of a motion ex parte filed by Dr. Okanta Emefiele on October 31, which sought the court’s intervention for an immediate and unconditional release of the former CBN head.

The legal motion, referred to as M/122/2023, places Emefiele at the center of a high-profile case against a backdrop of respondents including the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Attorney General of the Federation.

“Upon listening to A Labi-Lawal, Esq. (with Olawale Fapohunda, Esq.; Dr. S. M. Oyeghe; I. B. Ahmad, Esq.) of learned counsel for the plaintiff moving in terms of the motion paper, accordingly, the third and fourth respondents are hereby ordered to unconditionally release the applicant from detention forthwith; or in the alternative produce him in court,” Justice Adeniyi’s ruling stated.

This order gives the EFCC the option to either comply with the immediate release of Mr. Emefiele or alternatively, to bring him before the court on the forthcoming date set for a hearing on the matter.

The ruling has set the stage for a subsequent hearing of the substantive motion on notice, scheduled to be heard on Monday, November 6, at 1 p.m.

The swift judicial response underscores the gravity of the case against Mr. Emefiele, whose tenure as the governor of the CBN was marked by significant economic policies and actions.

The court’s order indicates a judicial system responsive to the principles of due process and individual rights.

The case continues to attract widespread attention as it develops, with the implications of Mr. Emefiele’s detention and subsequent court-ordered release likely to reverberate through Nigeria’s political and financial sectors.

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