ABUJA– On Thursday, at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Maitama, a fresh application from the Department of State Services (DSS) to extend the detention of Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for another 14 days was rejected.
The court, presided over by Justice Hamza Muazu, ruled that the application was an abuse of the judicial process and stated that it lacked the jurisdiction to entertain it.
The DSS, in their application marked: FCT/HC/M/12105/2023, claimed to have uncovered new evidence that required them to keep Mr. Emefiele in custody for further investigation. They requested the court’s permission to detain him for an additional 14 days.
However, during the hearing, Justice Muazu asked the DSS counsel, Mr. Victor Ejelonu, to address the issue of whether the court had the authority to grant such an application, considering the provisions of Sections 293 and 296 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act. Justice Muazu pointed out that the power to grant such applications was exclusive to the Magistrate Court.
Recognizing that the High Court lacked jurisdiction to grant the order, Mr. Ejelonu, on behalf of the DSS, applied for the withdrawal of the application.
To recap, Mr. Emefiele was arrested at his Ikoyi residence in Lagos by DSS operatives on June 10, a day after he was suspended as the CBN governor by President Bola Tinubu. He remained in custody until his arraignment before the Federal High Court in Lagos on charges of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Following his arraignment, the court granted Mr. Emefiele bail in the sum of N20 million with one surety. However, the DSS re-arrested him within the court premises, leading to a violent altercation with a senior prison official.
In response to the DSS’s request for a detention order, lawyer Mr. Nnamdi Mba criticized the agency for disrespecting the court, while Mr. C. C Nwodu highlighted that once a defendant is granted bail, it is the duty of the court to determine custody, not the security agency that brought the defendant to court.
The court’s decision to strike out the DSS’s application was seen as a courageous step in the face of what was perceived as an attempt to extend Mr. Emefiele’s detention unlawfully after previous detention orders had been exhausted.
The provided information is intended for general awareness and may not be entirely accurate or up-to-date. The post disclaims any warranties regarding the completeness, accuracy, or reliability of the content, services, or graphics on the website. It advises caution when using the information for any purpose.