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Court bars DSS, EFCC from arresting, detaining Emefiele

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A Federal High Court sitting in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, has quashed the moves by the Department of State Security (DSS) to arrest the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, on allegations of terrorism financing and economic crimes.

Delivering a judgment on the originating motion filed by the incorporated trustees of Forum for Accountability and Good Leadership to en- force the fundamental rights of Mr. Emefiele against the Attorney General of the Federation, the EFCC, Inspector General of Police, DSS and CBN, Justice M. A. Hassan also restrained the DSS from further harassing, humiliating, embarrassing, threatening to incarcerate or detain Mr. Emefiele over the allegations of terrorism financing and fraudulent practices.

The judge further re- strained the “DSS and any person acting through them from inviting, arresting and/ or detaining the CBN Governor in the guise of having committed any offence with respect to allegations of terrorism financing, fraudulent activities, etc or in any other manner whatsoever interfering with his rights to freedom of movement, personal liberty, human dignity or interfering with the tenure, functions and discharge of his duties as the Governor of the CBN, except by an order of a superior court.

Furthermore, the court relying on the orders of the Federal High Court in suit- FHC/ABJ/CS/2255/2022 delivered by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Justice J. T. Tsoho chided the DSS and declared any continuous harassment, intimidation, threat, restriction of free movement, abuse of right of office, surreptitious moves to arrest and humiliation of Mr. Godwin Emefiele over the trumped up allegations of terrorism financing and fraudulent practices, etc by the Service and their officers as vindictive, unwarranted, abrasive, oppressive and a flagrant breach of his rights to personal liberty, dignity of the human person, right to policy making powers, freedom of thought, conscience and religion and movement as respectively provided and enshrined under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act and therefore unconstitutional and illegal.

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The judge further held that the DSS acted wrongfully and illegally in instigating the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria against Mr Emefiele in respect of the exercise of his statutory duty relating to the issuance of monetary policies and directives in the interest of national security and the economy.

There have been wild jubilations in the CBN headquarters and across the banking industry since the news of the judgment leaked.

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