The House of Representatives Committee on Public Petition has advised lawyers of the embattled former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, to pursue contempt proceedings against the Economy and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Department of State Services (DSS), if they had strong evidence of his alleged abduction at the Kuje Nigeria Correctional Centre, Abuja.
The Committee gave the advice after a hearing of the petition filed by the Centre for Social Justice Equity and Transparency (CESJT) over a failed attempt by the anti-graft agency to abduct Emefiele from the custody of Kuje prisons, after the court had granted him bail.
When the petition was called up, representatives of the Correctional Centre denied the allegation.
The petitioners, however, produced pictures evidence of the EFCC operatives which laid siege to the prison.
The hearing nearly degenerated into a shouting match when the petitioners’ lawyers insisted on proving their case, but the EFCC and Prison officials’ who were present insisted that there was no such incident.
When asked by the chairman of the panel, Mike Eteba, to state the truth of what transpired, the Correctional Centre insisted that no such thing happened while the EFCC said they had no plan to abduct the former CBN governor and couldn’t talk on the matter as the incident never happened.
Ruling on the matter, the panel advised that since EFCC and the Correctional Centres denied the allegation of attempting to abduct Emefiele, his lawyers should proceed to the court and file contempt charges “if the EFCC makes any further move or if they feel strongly that the order of the court have been violated.”
The lawyer to the petitioners, while addressing the media, insisted that the alleged attempt to forcefully abduct Emefiele from lawful custody did take place.
The representative of CESJET, Mr. Ahmed Tijani, slammed the EFCC and DSS over their penchant for disobedience to court orders, adding that the agencies had failed to respect several orders of courts granting Emefiele bail.
“We are not here to challenge the matter in court but to report the alleged attempt to forcefully remove Emefiele by EFCC from the Correctional Centre,” he said.