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Court denies DSS request to detain Emefiele for another 14 days, cites jurisdiction

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A High Court in the Federal Capital Territory, Maitama, has rejected a fresh application by the Department of State Services (DSS) seeking to further detain the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, for an additional 14 days.

The court ruled that the application amounted to an abuse of the judicial process and lacked jurisdiction to entertain it.

Hamza Muazu delivered the ruling, highlighting that the exclusive rights to grant such an application rested with the Magistrate Court, as per Sections 293 and 296 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.

The DSS had submitted the application (FCT/HC/M/12105/2023) claiming the discovery of fresh evidence that necessitated extending Emefiele’s custody to conclude their ongoing investigation.

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During the hearing, the court asked the agency’s counsel, Victor Ejelonu, to address the issue of jurisdiction. In light of the judge’s observation, Ejelonu subsequently withdrew the application.

It was reported that DSS operatives arrested Emefiele on June 10 at his residence in Ikoyi, Lagos, following his suspension as CBN governor by President Bola Tinubu. On Wednesday, Emefiele was arraigned before the Federal High Court in Lagos on charges of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

The court granted him bail in the sum of N20 million with one surety, ordering his remand in prison custody until the bail conditions were met.

In defiance of the court order, the DSS re-arrested Emefiele on the court premises, leading to an altercation in which senior prison officials were reportedly manhandled by DSS operatives.

(omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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