On Monday, no less than 60 attorneys came before the Federal Capital Territory’s High Court to start committal procedures against the Department of State Services (DSS).
According to the attorneys, the lawsuit was based on what they claimed was a series of court orders and judgements that required the agency to release former Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele.
The attorneys, who were represented by Mr. Maxwell Opara and Mr. Ahmed Tijani, asked the court to jail the DSS unless the agency absolved itself of the contempt.
The attorneys requested the court to issue Forms 48 and 49, which are used to start the process of sending a criminal offender to prison.
The lawyers claimed that the DSS Director-General was required to release Emefiele from custody in accordance with the rulings and directives of Justices M. A. Hassan, Hamza Muazu, and Bello Kawu.
In an affidavit in support of the application, the lawyers deposed to the fact Justice Hassan restrained the respondents, particularly, the DSS from arresting, detaining, or interrogating Emefiele.
This was with regards to offences connected to terrorism financing, money laundering, round tripping and financial crimes of national security dimension.
They also deposed that despite the clear and positive orders of the court, the DSS went ahead to arrest and detain Emefiele and had detained him for over a month while shopping for evidence, which did not exist.
After submitting their paperwork, Opara addressed the media and promised that the group will see the case through to its logical conclusion and secure Bichi’s imprisonment.
He claimed that doing this would serve as a warning to other security agency directors that disobeying court orders would no longer be allowed.
Opara added that it was absurd that the DSS had charged Emefiele with possessing a legally registered pump action weapon after accusing him of committing horrific crimes against the state.
“Is it not clear enough to Nigerians that the DSS is persecuting Emefiele if after holding him for five weeks they can only file a ridiculous charge of possessing a validly registered pump action gun?”
“This clearly shows that the travail of Emefiele is more for political reasons than for any other.”