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Emefiele: Respect rule of law, NBA, CSOs urge FG



The Nigerian Bar Association, human rights activists, and civil society groups have called on the Federal Government to uphold the principles of the rule of law, fairness, and justice in the case against the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.

Vanguard reports that they criticised the Department of State Services for arresting and detaining Emefiele for nearly a month, arguing that the recent charge of gun and ammunition possession was politically motivated.

Emefiele was arrested at his Lagos residence on June 10, a day after being suspended from his position by President Bola Tinubu. Despite being detained on the order of an Abuja Chief Magistrate Court, the DSS charged him with a crime just hours after.

Emefiele was charged with two counts of unlawful possession of a single-barrel shotgun and ammunition without a license under the Firearms Laws of the Federation 2004. The Department of State Services claimed to have found the items during a search of Emefiele’s Ikoyi residence.

According to Vanguard, the former President of the NBA, Joseph Daudu, urged the government to respect the decisions of the courts regarding Emefiele’s arrest and detention.

He said: “I do not think that the President, Bola Tinubu, who is a newly minted President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, will like to start his administration with the organisations under him disobeying court orders.”

Daudu insisted that Emefiele’s trial should follow legal procedures.

Meanwhile, Abuja-based human rights activist Abdulazeez Tijani criticized the prolonged detention of Emefiele while the DSS was still investigating his case. Tijani pointed out that the DSS had been trying to arrest Emefiele for more than four months, and they should have concluded their investigation by now.

“The DSS cannot hide under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, to hold a Nigerian citizen till eternity because ACJA is inferior to the 1999 Constitution.”

The Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Section on Public Interest and Development Law, Dr. Monday Ubani, has also called the charge against Emefiele false and misleading.

He said: “I think these people are taking us for granted. They believed we are all fools. Did they not tell us that Emefiele was involved in financing terrorists? What has happened to that allegation? What has happened to the allegation of misappropriation of the money for printing new currency? What has happened to the allegation of stamp duty money allegedly squandered by Emefiele? What has happened to the allegation of manipulating our foreign exchange with Buhari cabals? What has happened to the allegation of operating several secret accounts not known to the Federal Republic of Nigeria?”

Human rights lawyer Barrister Jones Akpan argued that the charges of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition should be handled by the police.