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Court Turns Down DSS Application To Arrest, Detain CBN Gov, Godwin Emefiele

Court Turns Down DSS Application To Arrest, Detain CBN Gov, Godwin Emefiele


The Department of State Services (DSS) requested that the Federal High Court in FCT, Abuja arrest and detain Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).


In rejecting the motion submitted by an applicant in the respondent’s absence, the Chief Judge, Justice JT Tsoho, stated that the secret police had not offered any hard proof to support their assertions that Emefiele had been involved in the financing of terrorism and other economic crimes.


BarristerNG mentioned a court decision in which the judge stated that if there was any evidence to support the claims in the application, with the file number FHC/ABJ/CS/2255/2022, he should have been taken into confidence.


The honorable judge also questioned why the respondent’s name was merely presented as “Godwin Emefiele” without any mention that he is the same person as the CBN governor, a senior government official who holds a highly sensitive post.


Due to the serious economic consequences of the CBN governor’s arrest and detention, the court ruled that such a request should have been backed by presidential permission.

The ruling reads in part, “Upon perusal of the documents that constitute the Applicant’s Motion Ex parte dated and filed on 7/12/2022, I am constrained to make the following vital observations:


1. The entire affidavit depositions, especially as per paragraph 4 of the supporting affidavit, purport that preliminary investigation has revealed various acts of Terrorism Financing, fraudulent activities perpetrated by the Respondent and his Involvement in economic crimes of national security dimension. These are no doubt, grave allegations, but which the Applicant has not presented any concrete evidence to support.

“The Applicant should have taken the Court into confidence, while seeking the exercise of its discretion in favour of granting Its application. It is my respectful opinion that the ipse dixit of the Applicant standing on its own, is not sufficient evidence upon which to deprive a person of his liberty.

2. The Respondent in this application is named as “Godwin Emefiele” without disclosure of his status or position anywhere; not even In the affidavit. It is left to speculation if the “Godwin Emefiele” is the same person as the serving Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. If it is, then he is unarguably a high ranking Public Official In Nigeria and Indeed occupies a sensitive position as one of the key drivers of the Nation’s Economy.


Therefore, an application of this kind should have evidence of the approval of the Respondent’s boss, that such measures are authorised to be taken. I however do not find such evidence in this Instant application, whereas it is a necessary procedure in the observance of the Rule of Law disclosed in the supporting affidavit.


“This is not the situation here, as Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor was shown on Television, even last night, having audience with the President of Nigeria. It therefore seems that the Applicant Intends to use the Court, as a cover for an irregular procedure, which is unacceptable.


“In the light of the foregoing reasons, I decline to grant this application Ex parte. If the Applicant believes that the evidence available to it so far is sufficient, then it can as well arrest and detain the Applicant, even without the Order of this Court. If however the Applicant desires to still pursue this application, then It should place the Respondent on Notice, considering the sensitive Public Office that he occupies.”

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