On Thursday, an Abuja High Court sitting in Maitama ordered the Department of State Services, DSS, to release the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, from prison or charge him to court within seven days.
According to Justice Muazu, the Nigerian Constitution was built on the rule of law, which implied that everything must be done in accordance with the law.
“Any detention, no matter how small, can amount to a violation of fundamental rights,” the court said, adding that because the allegations against the embattled suspended CBN Governor contained bailable offenses, the DSS ought to grant him administrative bail until his trial.
nevertheless the court stated that there was evidence before it show that there was an order from an Abuja Chief Magistrate Court permitting the security agency to detain Emefiele for 14 days in order to conclude its investigations.
Emefiele did not establish that his arrest, detention, and inquiry were unlawful since they were based on a valid court order, the court ruled.
Justice Muazu described the DSS as a reputable organization tasked with to guarantee the country’s internal security, saying it must conduct it operations in adherence with the provisions of the Constitution.
“Though I sympathize with the Applicant (Emefiele), my sentiment will not go far in delivering judgement by granting all of the reliefs sought by the Applicant.”
“The Applicant hasn’t shown that his arrest, detention, or investigation were illegal.”
“However, I am concerned that the application has merit.” The Applicant has the right to a fair hearing.
“At this point, the Applicant’s continued detention cannot be justified in the absence of any charge against him.”
“At the very least, justice demands that Applicant be released on administrative bail.”
“As a result, I hereby issue an order directing the Respondents to charge the Applicant to court or release him on administrative bail within one week,” the court said.
Emefiele put up the basic rights enforcement suit through his team of lawyers led by a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Joseph Daudu, SAN.
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