Joseph Daudu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and counsel for the suspended and detained Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has stated that the case will serve as a test of President Bola Tinubu’s respect for the rule of law.
Daudu made this statement after the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja gave the Department of State Services (DSS) a seven-day ultimatum to either release Emefiele or arraign him in court.
Justice Hamza Muazu, ruling on a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by Emefiele, held that the continued detention of Emefiele without trial violated his fundamental human rights. The judge emphasized that even a short period of detention could amount to a breach of fundamental rights.
While the court acknowledged that there was a lawful order from a magistrate’s court backing Emefiele’s detention, it concluded that the DSS should have granted him administrative bail since the allegations against him were bailable offenses.
Following the court’s order, Daudu praised the decision and called on the DSS to comply with it. He also urged President Tinubu to demonstrate that government agencies under his watch would not disobey lawful court orders, drawing attention to the President’s previous criticism of the military government for disregarding such orders.
In response, the DSS stated that Emefiele had been charged to court. The agency explained that it had previously applied for a court order to detain Emefiele for a criminal investigation, but he had obtained another order preventing his arrest. The DSS asserted that Emefiele was arrested in June 2023 based on suspected fresh criminal infractions, which formed the basis for his ongoing prosecution.
The DSS assured the public of professionalism, justice, and fairness in handling the matter, emphasizing its commitment to fulfilling its duties within the confines of the law.
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