A civil society organisation (CSO), the African Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ACJHR), has called the Department of State Services’ (DSS) rearrest of suspended CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele on terrorism-related charges as void and absurd, claiming a previous court decision had invalidated the charges against him and prevented the secret police from making the arrest.
After Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court in Lagos admitted Emefiele to bail in the amount of N20 million on Tuesday, the secret police and staff members of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) had fought over the agency’s decision to take custody of the suspended and troubled Apex Bank Chief. After the physical altercation, DSS agents eventually took Emefiele into their custody.
In a statement released on Wednesday by Mr. Abubakar Isa, the human rights organisation said it is absurd that a purported intelligence agency would re-arrest someone for allegations that have previously been settled in court.
It’s absurd that a purported intelligence agency would re-arrest Emefiele on allegations that have previously been resolved by a court of competent jurisdiction, the statement reads. Is the DSS now asserting that the judiciary is incorrect, incompetent, and that their decision is irrelevant unless it benefits them?
“Months ago, Justice M. A. Hassan of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) restrained the Department of State Services (DSS) and four others from arresting or detaining Emefiele over alleged terrorism financing. The judge held that the DSS acted wrongfully and illegally in instigating President Muhammadu Buhari against Godwin Emefiele in respect of the exercise of his statutory duty relating to the issuance of monetary policies and directives in the interest of the National Security and economy.
“Again recently a High Court sitting in Abuja presided over by Justice Hamza Muazu ordered DSS to immediately release Emefiele, from detention or charge him to court. It’s clear that the secret police has a vendetta against Emefiele because despite several court rulings the operatives have refused to obey any and have continued to disrespect the judiciary. It’s a huge disgrace what happened at the federal high court in Lagos yesterday. President Tinubu should not allow the DSS to tarnish his hard-earned reputation as a world-renowned democrat.”