In a session held at the Federal High Court in Lagos, the proceedings were adjourned until August 15, 2023, to address the request made by Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, who is seeking to halt his prosecution by the Federal Government.
On the same day, the court will also review the application presented by the Federal Government, represented by the Ministry of Justice, requesting permission to appeal the court’s decision to grant Emefiele bail.
Emefiele had been arraigned before Justice Nicholas Oweibo on July 25, following a charge of unlawful possession of firearms, brought against him by the Department of State Service (DSS). Although he was initially granted bail by the court, he was subsequently re-arrested by the DSS on the same day.
During the most recent hearing, Emefiele’s fresh application sought to halt his ongoing prosecution based on a previous court judgment that deemed his arrest and arraignment as illegal. However, Justice Oweibo adjourned the proceedings to the new date, August 15, to allow the defence adequate time to respond to the prosecution’s counter affidavit, which was presented in court just prior to the session’s commencement.
While deciding which application to address first, the judge acknowledged that the prosecution’s application had been fully prepared and was ready for consideration. However, considering that the defence had yet to respond to the counter affidavit presented to them, the judge determined that it would be more appropriate to address all applications together, leading to the adjournment until August 15.
In his current application, Emefiele is seeking a court order to prevent the complainant from pursuing the ongoing charge or any other charges against him, given an earlier court order that declared his arrest and arraignment as unlawful. He is also requesting that the court discharge him from the current charge, arguing that the complainant’s defiance of the court’s orders undermines their right to prosecute the case.
Furthermore, Emefiele is asking for an order to suspend all proceedings in the present charge until he has exhausted all legal avenues to compel the government to adhere to the court’s order regarding his bail. He contends that the order issued on July 25, admitting him to bail and ordering his remand in prison custody, remains valid and must be upheld by the complainant before they can proceed with the case or any other legal actions.
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