Emefiele: Lawyers, youth group hail judgement, task FG on compliance

Some constitutional lawyers have hailed the judgement ordering the release of the suspended Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, from the detention of Department of State Services (DSS), describing it as victory for democracy and human rights.

The lawyers in statement by their leader, Barr. Obe AG,
urged the federal government to show respect for the rule of law by complying with the court ruling.

Similarly, socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Youths, has urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to show that he’s a true democrat by directing the DSS to release Emefiele immediately.

The socio-cultural group in a statement by its Cordinator for Judicial Affairs, Nze Uzo Kalu, said if DSS disobey the court order and continue to illegally detain Emefiele, then its clear the DSS wants to dent Tinubu’s rule of Law record.

The group recalled that President Tinubu in his inaugural address promised to govern according to the Nigerian constitution and the rule of law.

The group noted that Tinubu specifically promised that respect for the constitution and the rule of law will underpin his economic programmes.

Warning against denting the president’s record, the group urged DSS to immediately comply with court order and release Emefiele, adding that the President should let their son come home safely.

Meanwhile, there’s massive celebration in Emefieles home town in Delta State as the news of the court order for his release hits airwaves.

One of the indigenes Ogidi Emmanuel J., who reacted to the court ruling described it as a welcomed development, saying that the illegal detention of the suspended CBN governor without proof of the crime he committed was unfair and against the rule of law.

He lamented that the DSS operatives were becoming more brazen and tyrannical in their behaviours, adding that Emefiele’s crime was initiating several policies that have been beneficial to Nigerians.

Recall that a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) sitting in Abuja, ealier on Thursday, ordered the DSS to immediately release the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, from detention.

The presiding judge, Justice Hamza Muazu, gave the order after hearing the arguments of all parties in the matter.

The secret police had last month said the suspended CBN Governor was in their custody shortly after his suspension from office. The statement came hours after they initially denied that Emefiele was in their custody.

Emefiele, through his counsel, had challenged his detention by DSS and the denial of access to members of his family and counsel.

The counsel, among others, sought an order setting aside, quashing, invalidating and nullifying the arrest, detention of the Applicant (Mr. Godwin Emefiele) for being illegal and a nullity, in view of the subsisting Orders and Judgment of the Court in Suit No: FCT/HCAGAR/CV/41/2022 delivered by the Honourable Justice M. A. Hassan on December 29, 2022.

He also sought an order setting aside, voiding, quashing, invalidating and nullifying any warrant of arrest or warrant of detention or any other order for the detention of the Applicant, obtained os procured by the Respondents (particularly the State Security Service), for the arrest, detention and/or interrogation of the Applicant (Mr. Godwin Emefiele) in connection with the allegations of terrorism financing, fraudulent practices, money laundering, round tripping, threat to national security, etc from any other Court, during the subsistence of the Orders.

Justice Hamza Muazu in his ruling on Thursday in Abuja observed that detention no matter how short is a breach of fundamental rights and it must be determined whether detention is legal or illegal.

He noted that the applicant was entitled to fair hearing and continued detention cannot be justified in the absence of a charge and the offenses alleged are bailable.

While ruling that the applicant be released on bail, the Judge gave the respondent one week to charge applicant to court or release him immediately.