Morgan Taylor
Fri, Jul 28, 2023 7:35 AM

Lawyers condemn DSS bid to keep CBN governor Emefiele in custody

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Lawyers condemn DSS bid to keep CBN governor Emefiele in custody
Lawyers have condemned the attempt by the Department of State Services (DSS) to seek another order to detain the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, for a further 14 days. The legal practitioners argue that the move is an abuse of court process and an attempt to intimidate Nigerian courts. This comes after the DSS rearrested Emefiele, who had been granted bail, from the premises of the Federal High Court in Lagos.

The recent attempt by the Department of State Services (DSS) to seek further detention of the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, for an additional 14 days has drawn strong condemnation from legal practitioners in Nigeria. The move has been labeled an abuse of court process, and lawyers argue that this is an attempt by the DSS to intimidate the Nigerian courts.

Emefiele was earlier granted bail in the sum of N20 million with one surety in like sum by the Federal High Court in Lagos. He faced two counts of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, which he pleaded not guilty to. However, the DSS filed another application to detain him for 14 more days, claiming they had uncovered fresh evidence against him.

Justice Hamza Muazu of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Maitama struck out the DSS application, stating that it was an abuse of court process and lacked jurisdiction. The judge questioned the DSS counsel on the court's jurisdiction, pointing out that exclusive rights to grant detention orders are vested in the Magistrate Court.

The lawyer community has strongly condemned the actions of the DSS. Abuja-based constitutional lawyer, Nnamdi Mba, stated that, "You cannot be charging someone to court yet you cannot obey the same court. What the DSS is doing is tantamount to intimidating the courts." Mba's sentiments were echoed by other lawyers who viewed the DSS actions as unlawful and outright criminal.

Lawyer C. C. Nwudo stressed that once a defendant is granted bail, the responsibility of determining custody lies with the court and not the security agency that brought the defendant to court. He further criticized the DSS for abducting Emefiele from the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service and now seeking to further detain him for 14 days.

Reacting to the situation, lawyer Hassan Omale described the abduction as unlawful and outright criminal. He called for the immediate removal of those responsible for the order allowing the DSS to take Emefiele into custody without obtaining a court order.

The attempt by the DSS to extend Emefiele's detention has raised concerns about the independence and integrity of the Nigerian courts. Legal practitioners assert that the actions of the DSS infringe upon individuals' rights and undermine the rule of law in Nigeria.

As the legal community continues to condemn the actions of the DSS, it remains to be seen how the Nigerian courts and the government will respond to this controversial issue.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-07-28 News

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