Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS), on Tuesday, re-arrested suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, after a tussle with officials of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS).
Emefiele’s re-arrest occurred on the premises of a Federal High Court in Lagos sitting in Ikoyi after Justice Nicholas Oweibo admitted the embattled and suspended apex bank chief to bail in the sum of the N20m.
The judge also ordered that Emefiele be remanded at the correctional center pending the fulfillment of the bail conditions.
Battle For Emefiele’s Custody
Shortly after the ruling, DSS operatives strategically positioned their Hilux Pick Up van used in bring Emefiele to court, in a manner suggesting that they wanted to take him back to their detention centre.
This prompted Emefiele’s lead counsel, Joseph Daudu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), and other lawyers to raise an alarm about their client’s planned re-arrest by the secret police.
oral submission, opposed the bail application, insisting that the prosecution had not been given time to respond in line with the provisions of fair hearing enshrined in the constitution.
She also said that the prosecution had information that the defendant’s refusal to hand in his passport suggested his capacity to evade and abscond from his trial.
“As the governor of the CBN, he is a powerful man, and can intimidate the witnesses. Granting him bail will intimidate the prosecution witnesses who have come forward to give evidence. He can evade trial based on his antecedents. We urge the court to dismiss the bail application,” she argued.
But the court overruled the Federal Government.
The judge also ordered that Emefiele be held at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre, pending the perfection of his bail as against the request of the prosecution that the defendant should be remanded in DSS custody for further investigation on another matter that may soon by filed in court.
However, the secret police fought prison officials who came to the court to take custody of Emefiele and left with him.
The trial has been fixed for November 14, 2023.
In his ruling on the bail application, Justice Oweibo said, “I find and hold that the prosecution has failed to establish why the defendant should not be granted bail.
“Consequently the defendant is admitted to bail in the sum of 20 million naira with one surety in like sum.
“The surety must be owner of a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court who must not be less than Level 16 in the Nigerian Civil Service.
“The defendant must deposit his international passport to the court.
“Case is adjourned to 14th of November for trial.”