Home » Court Slams N100m Fine, Bars Re-arrest of Ex-CBN Governor Emefiele

Court Slams N100m Fine, Bars Re-arrest of Ex-CBN Governor Emefiele

Court Fines Government and EFCC N100m, Bars Re-arrest of Ex-CBN Governor Emefiele

by Ikeoluwa Juliana Ogungbangbe

The Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja has ruled that the extended detention of the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, without trial, constitutes a clear violation of his fundamental rights.

The court has imposed a fine of N100 million against both the Federal Government and the Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), prohibiting them from rearresting or detaining the former CBN governor without a valid court order.

However, the EFCC has expressed its dissatisfaction with the judgment and intends to file an appeal.

This judgment stems from a fundamental human rights lawsuit filed by Emefiele following his prolonged detention in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Emefiele was arrested on June 10, shortly after his suspension by President Bola Tinubu. Although he appeared before the Federal High Court in Lagos on July 25, 2023, where he faced illegal firearms charges and was granted bail, he was re-arrested by the DSS on the court premises amid a clash with warders from the Ikoyi Correctional Centre.

The former CBN governor was not released by the secret police until October 26, 2023, after spending nearly five months in custody. Upon his release by the DSS, he was immediately taken into custody by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Emefiele’s detention in EFCC custody continued until November 8, when he was brought to court for arraignment on procurement fraud charges.

In his lawsuit, Emefiele also sought an order from the court to compel the respondents to pay him N1 billion in damages and to restrain them from any further arrests or detentions.

The defendants named in the lawsuit include the Federal Government, the Attorney General of the Federation, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and its chairman, Ola Olukoyede.

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