Court orders DSS to release Emefiele or charge him within one week

Spread the love

Abuja, July 13, 2023 – An Abuja high court has ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to charge or release Godwin Emefiele, the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to court within one week.

Justice Hamza Muazu, the presiding judge, gave the order at the resumed hearing of the case on Thursday.

Emefiele, who was suspended as CBN Governor on June 10, had sued the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), the DSS Director General and the DSS for unlawful arrest and detention, while seeking N5 million as damages against the defendants.

In his originating motion on notice, Emefiele sought to enforce his right to liberty and freedom of movement, arguing there is no basis for his continuous detention.

On the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the issues surrounding the arrest and detention of Emefiele, Justice Muazu said that the case was within the court’s jurisdiction to entertain the charges brought against the former CBN Governor.

He said the DSS acted within the law and its mandate to arrest, detain and investigate for the prevention of breach of national security.

While the court said that there was evidence before it to show that there was an order from an Abuja Chief Magistrate Court which permitted the security agency to detain Emefiele for 14 days to enable it to conclude its investigations, the judge, however, said that Emefiele’s fundamental human rights should not be breached under any guise.

He said the DSS power to arrest must be guided by the provisions of the law that stipulated the conditions under which a Nigerian citizen must be held and for how long.

Justice Muazu, therefore, ordered the DSS to charge Emefiele to court within one or have him released.

He said the charges brought against Emefiele were bailable, in addition to having  his rights to a fair hearing.

“Though I am in sympathy with the Applicant but my sentiment will not go far to deliver judgment by granting all the reliefs sought by the Applicant.

“The Applicant has not shown that his arrest, detention and investigation were unlawful.

“However, I am concerned that the application is not without merit. The Applicant is entitled to a fair hearing.

“At this point, the continued detention of the Applicant cannot be justified in the absence of any charge against him.

“At the very least, justice demands that Applicant should be released on administrative bail.

“Consequently, I hereby male an order, directing the Respondents to within one week, charge the Applicant to court or release him on administrative bail,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *