Court Rejects DSS Request to Hold Emefiele In Custody
By Adedapo Adesanya
A High Court in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, has struck out an ex parte application filed by the Department of State Services (DSS) to secure an order to detain the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, for a further 14 days based on fresh evidence they have uncovered.
On the application, the judge, Justice Edward Ekpo, questioned counsel to the secret police, Mr Victor Ejelonu, on the court’s jurisdiction, in view of the provisions of Sections 293 and 296 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act which vests exclusive rights on the Magistrate Court to grant detention order.
The DSS counsel thereby withdrew the application, which was subsequently struck out by the judge on account of lack of jurisdiction.
It will be recalled that Mr Emefiele was on Tuesday rearrested by the DSS after a Federal High Court in Lagos had granted him bail in a case of alleged illegal possession of firearms.
Operatives of the secret service and the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS) fought within the court premises over who would take custody of the banker.
While the prison officials argued that Mr Emefiele should be in their custody pending when he meets his bail condition, DSS officials said they had a separate court order to rearrest him, whether or not he met his bail conditions.
The violence happened after the Lagos court granted Mr Emefiele N20 million bail and one surety in like sum.
Mr Emefiele’s lawyers and the correctional service, in order to avoid violence, allowed the DSS to step in, disobeying the court order, and take custody of Mr Emefiele.