Court bars DSS, EFCC from arresting Emefiele over terrorism financing allegation

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The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory has quashed moves by the State Security Services to arrest the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele on allegations of Terrorism financing and economic crimes.

In a well-considered judgment this Thursday on the Originating Motion filed by the Incorporated Trustees of Forum for Accountability and Good Leadership to enforce the Fundamental rights of Mr.

Emefiele against the Attorney General of the Federation, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Inspector General of Police, State Security Service and the Central Bank of Nigeria, Justice M.

A. Hassan also restrained the State Security Service from further harassing, humiliating, embarrassing, threatening to incarcerate or detain Mr.
Emefiele over the trumped up allegations of terrorism financing and fraudulent practices.

The judex further restrained the SSS and any person acting through them from inviting, arresting and/or detaining the Governor od the Central Bank of Nigeria in the guise of having committed any offence with respect to allegations of terrorism financing, fraudulent activities etc or in any other manner whatsoever interfering with his rights to freedom of movement, personal liberty, human dignity or interfering with the tenure, functions and discharge of his duties as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria except by an order of a superior court.

Furthermore, the court relying on the orders of the Federal High Court in Suit FHC/ABJ/CS/2255/2022 delivered by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court Justice J. T. Tsoho lampooned the SSS and declared any continuous harassments, intimidation, threats, restriction of free movement, abuse of right of office, surreptitious moves to arrest and humiliation of Mr. Godwin Emefiele over the trumped up allegations of terrorism financing and fraudulent practices etc by the Service and their officers as vindictive, unwarranted, abrasive, oppressive and constitutes a flagrant breach of his rights to personal liberty, dignity of the human person, right to policy making powers, freedom of thought, conscience and religion and movement as respectively provided and enshrined under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act and therefore unconstitutional and illegal.

The judge further held that the SSS acted wrongfully and illegally in instigating the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria against Mr Emefiele in respect of the exercise of his statutory duty relating to the issuance of monetary policies and directives in the interest of national security and the economy.

There have been wild jubilations in the Central Bank of Nigeria Headquarters and across the banking industry when the news of the judgment leaked. Also human rights lawyers have hailed the judgment as victory for the protection of human rights and the rule of law urging the State Security Service to obey the judgment without any delay.

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