Release Emefiele Now—Groups Tells DSS

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Image Source: Channels TV

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The Department of State Services (DSS) has been asked to immediately release the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele.

This request was made by the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) and a coalition of civil society groups under the aegis of the Coalition of National Civil Society Organisations (CNCSOs).

Mr Emefiele was arrested last month by the secret police, and despite court orders for his release, he has been kept in the agency’s custody.

He was arraigned on Tuesday at a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on a two-count charge bordering on illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. He was granted bail, but the DSS rearrested him in the court premises in a Gestapo manner and in flagrant disobedience to the court.

Worried that the banker was yet to regain his freedom, the group called on President Bola Tinubu to immediately call the DSS to order as an impression of a draconian regime had already been created about his administration in the minds of Nigerians due to the activities of the secret police in recent times.

In a statement jointly signed by the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the CNPP, Mr James Ezema, and the National Secretary of the CSOs, Mr Ali Abacha, they said that “respect for court order is one of the basic ingredients of a democratic society.

“Nigeria needs investors to come. However, no investor will put his money in a country where a clear order of a court of competent jurisdiction is violated at will,” he added.

The organisations earlier called on Mr Tinubu to prove to Nigerians that he is truly a democrat by upholding the rule of law as against what they described as the All Progressives Congress (APC) invented script of detention without trial, using bogus allegations to keep suspected political enemies in detention indefinitely.

Calling on him to whip the agency into shape, the CNPP and the CSOs said, “It has become not just a national show of shame but an international embarrassment that the age-long inter-agency rivalry in Nigeria would be brought to the full glare of the public where DSS operatives will be manhandling security personnel on official duty in court premises.

“What happened to inter-agency cooperation? Why will the DSS not approach a court to obtain a warrant for the re-arrest of Godwin Emefiele, knowing that the order of the court was that he should be remanded in prison custody by the correctional service?

“The DSS only approached the court after coercing correctional officials and abducting the suspended CBN Governor. Of course, any judge who knows the facts of the case will not grant such an order to legitimize illegality.

“We, therefore, call on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to end this illegality and call the DSS to order. Otherwise, Nigerians will believe that he opted to run a draconian democratic regime, which is the impression already being created.

“Those who know are aware that we were very critical of the CBN Governor while he was in office, but if society must move forward, what is right should be commended, and what is wrong must be condemned.

“In the present circumstance, we call for the immediate release of the abducted suspended Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) as the court has already granted him bail and if the Federal Government has any established case against him, the rule of law should be followed.”

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