Emefiele May Flee Nigeria if Granted Bail-DSS, OAGF

The Department of State Services (DSS) and the Attorney-General of the Federation have expressed the fear that Godwin Emefiele, the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, might attempt to leave the country if granted bail.

The Attorney-General of the Federation who shared the fear with DSS characterized Emefiele as a “flight risk.”

Emefiele is currently challenging his detention by the DSS, which he claimed had denied him access to his family members and lawyers.

President Bola Tinubu suspended Emefiele, who was subsequently detained by the DSS on June 10, 2023.

During the hearing, both the DSS and the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (OAGF) presented separate counter-affidavits in response to a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by Emefiele.

The OAGF, in its affidavit, dismissed speculations that Emefiele was being held for terrorist-related offenses.

It also stated that he was not being targeted for his involvement in politics or the unsuccessful naira redesign policy.

The OAGF said: “Issues of terrorism financing and fraudulent activities are not part of the grounds for the arrest and detention of the applicant.

“The respondents have not violated the applicant’s right to live in any way, his life is not in danger. The respondents did not subject the applicant to any judicial adjudication to warrant the allegation of denial of a fair hearing.

“With the remand order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction, the said violation of the applicant’s right to freedom of movement does not arise.

The respondents, he argued, did not subject the applicant to any torture, the details of which have not been provided.

The DSS, on its part, said that Emefiele was being held pursuant to an order of a competent court.

It added that the suspended CBN boss was arrested “upon reasonable suspicion of committing acts which constitute a criminal breach of trust, incitement to violence, criminal misappropriation of public funds, economic sabotage, economic crimes of national security dimension and undermining the security of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

During the court hearing, Tijani Gazal, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, representing the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (OAGF), requested the court to dismiss the suit, asserting that Emefiele’s claim of unlawful detention was baseless.

Gazal informed the court that the suspended CBN governor was being held in accordance with an order from an FCT Chief Magistrate Court.

He further stated that the OAGF, listed as the first respondent, was challenging the court’s jurisdiction to hear the case.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria argued that Emefiele’s arrest and detention were administrative decisions made by a branch of the executive arm of government.

He argued that a court’s jurisdiction was determined by the relief sought by the applicant.

After hearing the arguments from all parties, Justice Hamza Muazu adjourned the case till July 13, when a ruling will be given.