A high court of the Federal Capital Territory on Thursday issued a one-week ultimatum to the Department of State Security Service to either charge the detained suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele to Court or release him.
Justice Hamza Muazu gave the order while delivering a ruling in a fundamental human rights suit instituted against the DSS and others by Emefiele.
Justice Muazu held that the DSS has the power to carry out its constitutional duties of making arrests, detaining, and ensuring the prevention of internal crime.
However, he maintained that such duties must be carried out within the ambit of the law.
Justice Muazu said, “Though I am in sympathy with the Applicant, my sentiment will not go far to deliver judgement by granting all the reliefs sought by the Applicant.
“The Applicant has not shown that his arrest, detention and investigation were unlawful.”
“However, I am concerned that the application is not without merit. The Applicant is entitled to a fair hearing.”
“At this point, the continued detention of the Applicant cannot be justified in the absence of any charge against him.”
“At the very least, justice demands that Applicant should be released on administrative bail.”
“Consequently, I hereby make an order, directing the respondents to within one week, charge the Applicant to court or release him on administrative bail.”
Emefiele, in a fundamental rights enforcement suit, had dragged the Attorney General of the Federation, Director General of the DSS and DSS to court seeking enforcement of his rights to freedom of movement and dignity to human life.
In the suit instituted on his behalf by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN, Joseph Daudu, the suspended CBN Governor had applied that his arrest and detention since June 10 without valid order of court be voided and set aside.
Emefiele demanded compensation of N5M as exemplary damages for his alleged unlawful detention.
President Bola Tinubu on Friday, June 9, suspended Emefiele from office with immediate effect.
This followed the ongoing investigation of his office and the planned reforms in the financial sector of the economy, according to a statement by the Director of Information, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Willie Bassey.
According to the statement, Emefiele has been directed to immediately hand over the affairs of his office to the Deputy Governor (Operations Directorate), who will act as the CBN governor pending the conclusion of the investigation and the reforms.
The CBN listed the Deputy Director, Operations Directorate, as Mr Folashodun Adebisi Shonubi.
Shortly after Emefiele’s arrest, the DSS swooped in on him and took him into their custody.