Court Declares Godwin Emefiele Arrest Invalid – Orders For His Release

In a fresh ruling, a Federal High Court in Abuja the capital territory of Nigeria has nullified the arrest and detention of suspended Central Bank of Nigeria governor Godwin Emefiele. The ruling delivered on Friday 14th July 2023 by Justice Bello Kawu held that the arrest, detention, and interrogation of Godwin Emefiele violated a 2022 ruling of Justice M. A. Hassan.

The 2022 ruling was delivered in the run-up to the general election when the SSS sought to arrest Godwin Emefiele. It described the attempt by the SSS to arrest Godwin Emefiele as vindictive, unwarranted, abrasive, oppressive and the same constitutes a flagrant breach of his rights to personal liberty, the dignity of the human person, and went on to prohibit his arrest.

The SSS, in a statement on Thursday evening 13th July 2023, admitted that it ignored the ruling to arraign Godwin Emefiele on suspicion of new offences, which was not addressed by the 2022 ruling. On Friday’s ruling, Godwin Emefiele, through his counsel, Peter Abang, urged the court to uphold the December 2022 order to nullify his arrest and detention. The motion was filed against the Attorney-General of the Federation, Incorporated Trustees of the Forum for Accountability and Good Leadership, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Inspector-General of Police, the State Security Service (SSS), and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Justice Bello Kawu agreed with Godwin Emefiele’s counsel that his arrest, detention, and interrogation violated a court order and was illegal. The court also set aside and voided any warrant of arrest obtained or procured by the SSS for the arrest and interrogation of Godwin Emefiele and ruled that he should be released.

Last month, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu suspended Godwin Emefiele as the central bank of Nigeria governor, citing ongoing investigations of his office bothering on corruption.

Austine Ikeru
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