The Department of State Services (DSS) requested that the Federal High Court in Abuja arrest and detain Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Justice JT Tsoho, the chief judge, denied the ex parte request made by an applicant in the respondent’s absence on the grounds that the secret police had failed to present sufficient proof to support its assertions that Emefiele had engaged in the financing of terrorism and other economic crimes.
The Cable reported that sources at the high court suggested that if there was any evidence to support the claims in the application, with the file number FHC/ABJ/CS/2255/2022, the judge would have indicated he should have been taken into confidence.
“The honourable judge also wondered why the name of the respondent was given simply as ‘Godwin Emefiele’ without a material disclosure that he is the same person as the CBN governor, a highly ranking public official who occupies an extremely sensitive position”
The court said such an application should have been accompanied with the presidential approval because of the grave implications for the Nigerian economy if the CBN governor is arrested and detained.
There are suggestions that the bid to arrest Emefiele might be political given the impact the redesign of the naira and limit on cash withdrawals might have on vote-buying in the 2023 elections.
A number of politicians have complained that the naira redesign is targeted at them but President Muhammadu Buhari has given his full backing to Emefiele over the policy
On Monday, a group of civil society organisations raised the alarm that there was a plot to frame Emefiele for terrorism and remove him from office.
Don’t Be Used To Undermine Our Investigations — DSS Warns Nigerians
Meanwhile, DSS has warned Nigerians against being used to “undermine” its investigations.
In a statement issued on Monday, Peter Afunanya, DSS spokesperson, said the service will not be distracted by those seeking to use “propaganda” to undermine its lawful investigations.
Afunanya said one of the duties of the DSS is the “investigation of matters of national security dimension. It has always discharged this responsibility in the overall interest of Nigerian citizens”.
“As such, the Service will continue to disseminate actionable intelligence to the relevant authorities devoid of any sentiment,” the statement reads.
“While professionally discharging its mandate, the DSS pledges to remain focused and unbiased. It will not, by any means, succumb to propaganda, intimidation and the desperation of hirelings to undermine it.
“It will also not give room to the use of falsehood and deceit to misdirect public understanding and perceptions of issues of national importance.
“Given not to join issues, the Service warns those on a wild goose chase to be mindful of their actions. Similarly, it urges members of the public to disregard the vituperations and rantings of misguided elements and not allow themselves to be used as instruments of destabilisation.
“Notably, these elements should remember the famous axiom that ‘you will only deceive some people, some of the time, but not all people, all the time’.
“To put it succinctly, the Service will not be distracted by persons and/or groups from carrying out its duties to the Nation, citizens, and, President and Commander-in-Chief.”
Afunanya asked Nigerians to “avoid being used to thwart or undermine the Service and its lawful investigations as those who wish to act in the breach will be dealt with in accordance with the law”.