Court invalidates arrest, detention of Godwin Emefiele

Emefiele Was Transfered From DSS To EFCC After Danding Over His Duty To His Deputy

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Emefiele was ordered to hand over his duties to Folashodun Adebisi Shonubi, the deputy governor of the operations directorate, by President Bola Tinubu on Friday.

Emefiele was taken into custody by the Department of State Services (DSS) for “some investigative reasons” on Saturday, according to the DSS announcement.

The DSS has been keeping an eye on Emefiele since 2022 because to allegations that he is supporting terrorists.

A federal high court had denied the security agency’s request for an arrest order on the grounds that there was insufficient supporting documentation.

A high court for the federal capital territory (FCT) later issued a directive prohibiting the DSS from detaining Emefiele.

Falana provided DSS with advice on how to handle the case without “bungling” it due to legal nuances in a statement on Sunday.

The SAN said that the DSS lacked the authority to look into and bring charges against Emefiele for alleged money laundering and other economic offences.

Emefiele should therefore be turned over to a body with the legal authority to look into such a matter, he continued.

“A few months ago, the State Security Service (SSS) made serious accusations against Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), alleging that he had funded terrorism, engaged in money laundering, and committed other economic crimes. The former Buhari government thwarted the SSS’s attempt to detain Mr. Emefiele, conduct an investigation, and bring charges against him at the relevant period, Falana said.

“However, when Mr. Emefiele was removed from his position as CBN Governor by President Bola Tinubu, the SSS interrogated him in Lagos before transporting him to Abuja yesterday. The SSS is currently looking into the suspect, according to media sources.

Despite the fact that the SSS first rejected the arrest, it has subsequently acknowledged that Mr. Emefiele is in its possession.

Federal Republic of Nigeria v. Dr. Bukola Saraki (2018) 16 NWLR (pt. 1646) 433–434: The Supreme Court ruled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission lacks the authority to look into and bring charges against the appellant for violating the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.

Senator Saraki was released by the top court primarily because of this reason.

According to the legal principle stated by the Supreme Court in the Saraki case, the SSS lacks the authority to look into and bring charges against Mr. Emefiele for alleged money laundering and other economic offences.

Therefore, the SSS should transfer Mr. Emefiele to the EFCC for the purpose of examining the charges of money laundering and related offenses after looking into his alleged role in funding terrorism. Otherwise, the SSS will botch the investigation of the case.

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