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High Court Denies DSS’s Request to Prolong Emefiele’s Detention

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LAGOS, Nigeria – The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, rejected an application from the Department of State Services, DSS, seeking to detain Godwin Emefiele, the suspended Governor of the Central Bank, for an additional 14 days.

The application, marked FCT/HC/M/12105/2023, was presented before Justice Hamza Muazu by the DSS, claiming the discovery of new evidence necessitating the extension of Emefiele’s detention.

However, Justice Muazu dismissed the application as an abuse of court process and ruled it lacking in jurisdiction.

This decision was reached during a hearing quietly filed by the agency’s lawyers on Thuesday, July 26, 2023, and subsequently heard by the vacation judge today.

Upon questioning the court’s jurisdiction in light of Sections 293 and 296 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, which grant exclusive rights to the Magistrates’ Court to issue detention orders, DSS’s counsel, Victor Ejelonu, retracted the request.

Justice Muazu voiced his concerns about the application’s validity: “Given the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, it’s clear this court doesn’t hold the jurisdiction to extend detention orders in this manner,” he said. “This application is, therefore, dismissed as an abuse of court process.”

As a result, the Department of State Services’ bid to keep the suspended Governor under extended detention has been effectively thwarted, underscoring the principle of procedural integrity in the Nigerian justice system.

This ruling marks the latest development in the ongoing legal saga involving Emefiele, whose future as the Governor of the Central Bank continues to hang in the balance.

The coming weeks are sure to bring more twists as the case unfolds.

Suspended CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele Granted N20 Million Bail in Firearms Case

The Federal High Court in Lagos has on Tuesday, July 25, 2023, granted bail to Godwin Emefiele, the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, who is on trial for alleged illegal possession of firearms.

Justice Nicholas Oweibo set bail at N20 million with a requirement of one surety in the same amount, following Emefiele’s plea of “not guilty” to a two-count charge filed against him by the Federal Ministry of Justice.

Despite the Federal Government’s assertion that Emefiele presented a flight risk, Justice Oweibo rejected this claim, ruling that the government had failed to provide substantial facts to support its argument.

“Based on the evidence and arguments presented, I find no basis to sustain the prosecution’s contention that the defendant poses a flight risk,” Justice Oweibo said. “Thus, bail is granted on the condition of a N20 million bond and one surety in like sum.”

The defense team, led by Chief Joseph Daudu, SAN, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, applied on behalf of Emefiele.

Daudu argued that his client had fully cooperated with the investigation and would continue to do so, rendering the government’s flight risk concern unfounded.

Emefiele, 61, was suspended from his position as CBN Governor following the allegations of illegally possessing firearms.

The bail conditions set by Justice Oweibo provide some respite for the embattled banker as he prepares for what promises to be a high-profile court case in a nation grappling with issues of security and public trust.

The trial will continue in the upcoming weeks, with observers from all corners of the country keenly watching.

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