Court Slams N100m Fine on FG Emefiele Over Unlawful Detention

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The Federal Government has been ordered by a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), sitting at Maitama,to pay the sum of N100million to the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, for violating his fundamental rights.

The court, in a judgement, delivered by Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, declared as illegal and unconstitutional, the prolonged detention of Emefiele in custody of security agencies without trial.

It held that FG, through its agencies, flagrantly breached Emefiele’s rights that are enshrined in the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

Consequently, it restrained FG and its agents from re-arresting or detaining him again without an order of court.

The judgment followed a fundamental rights enforcement suit that the erstwhile CBN boss filed to query the legal propriety of his prolonged detention in custody of the Department of State Services, DSS.

He had among other things, prayed the court to award him damages to the tune of N1billion.

It will be recalled that President Bola Tinubu had on June 9, suspended Emefiele from office as the head of the apex bank.

He was later arrested at his Lagos residence by DSS operatives.

Emefiele had since then, faced a two-count charge of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition before the Federal High Court in Lagos, as well as another corruption charge that FG entered against him before the Abuja High Court.

The former CBN boss was subsequently transferred to the EFCC which on November 28, 2023, docked him on a six-count charge that bordered on his alleged involvement in procurement fraud.

Though Emefiele, who initially spent 151 days in custody of security agencies, was later granted bail to the tune of N300million and ordered to produce two sureties that the trial court stressed must be Abuja residents that have landed property within the Maitama District, the defendant could not perfect the conditions till December 23, 2023 when he was released from Kuje prison where he spent about 34 days.

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