The legal tussle for the lawful custody of the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, is set to resume on Thursday, August 10, at the Federal High Court in Lagos.
The upcoming hearing follows the submission of two fresh applications, one by the banker and another by the Federal Government.
The first application, filed by the government on August 3, seeks permission to appeal against the July 25 order issued by vacation judge Justice Nicholas Oweibo, which granted bail to Emefiele. This development underscores the complex legal nature of the ongoing case.Emefiele’s second application, filed on August 8, calls upon the court to prevent the Federal Government from pursuing further prosecution against him on charges related to illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, as well as any other charges.
In response, the Federal Government, represented by Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation, Nkiru Jones-Nebo, has also requested the court to stay the execution of the order that would have kept Emefiele in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS). Instead, the government seeks to remand him under the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Justice Nicholas Oweibo, who acted as the vacation judge, had initially granted Emefiele a N20 million bail on two counts of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
This order included remanding Emefiele at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre until the bail conditions were met. However, tensions escalated when the Department of State Services (DSS) rearrested Emefiele amid a confrontation with Nigerian Correctional Service officials at the court premises.
The second application, filed by Emefiele’s legal team led by Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Joseph Daudu, requests the court to dismiss all charges brought against Emefiele by the government.
The application argues that these charges constitute “brazen disobedience” of the existing court orders that granted Emefiele bail on July 25, 2023.
Emefiele’s application also seeks an order restraining the Federal Government from enjoying any legal leniency from the courts unless it complies with the bail ruling.
The application, citing constitutional provisions and relevant sections of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, highlights Emefiele’s intent to exhaust all available legal remedies to ensure his rights are upheld.
With the filing of these fresh applications, the legal proceedings surrounding Emefiele’s custody dispute continue to unfold. The case is poised to bring into focus the court’s ability to uphold its orders and maintain the integrity of the rule of law in Nigeria.