The Department of State Services (DSS)’s arrest, custody, and questioning of suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele have been overturned by an Abuja court.
The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Inspector General of Police, State Security Service (SSS), and the CBN were named as defendants in an Originating Motion on Notice brought before the court by Emefiele.
The presiding Judge found that the arrest, detention, and questioning of the suspended CBN governor violated an already-existing judgement.
Emefiele through his Counsel, Peter Abang, had asked the court to set aside, quash, invalidate and nullify the arrest and detention of the Applicant.
Abang described it as illegal and a nullity in view of the subsisting judgment of Justice M. A. Hassan delivered on December 29, 2022.
Justice Bello Kawu, on Friday, while delivering the judgment on the matter, held that the arrest, detention and interrogation was in violation of the subsisting judgment and orders of Justice Hassan in Suit No. FCT/HC/GAR/CV/41/2022.
Kawu thereafter made an order setting aside, voiding, quashing, invalidating and nullifying any warrant of arrest obtained or procured by the respondents, especially the DSS for the arrest, detention and/or interrogation of Emefiele in connection with the allegations of terrorism financing, fraudulent practices, money laundering, round tripping, threat to national security before or from any court since the date of the judgment of Justice Hassan.
The court also ordered the immediate release of Emefiele from DSS custody.
In his reaction to the latest judgment, Counsel to Emefiele called on the DSS to immediate comply with the orders of the court and release his client.
Abang said that this is important so that his client can go and look after his failing health aggravated by over one month of illegal and unlawful arrest and detention.
Emefiele had dragged the Attorney General of the Federation and the DSS Director General, Yusuf Magaji Bichi to court, seeking the enforcement of his fundamental right to freedom of movement and dignity of human life.
In the suit, he had applied that his arrest and detention since June 10 without valid order of court be voided and set aside.
Also he demanded a compensation of N5million as exemplary damages for his alleged unlawful detention.