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Nigerian High Court Declines Application By Secret Police, DSS To Arrest Central Bank Gov, Emefiele Over Terrorism Financing Allegation

December 19, 2022

The DSS or State Security Service (SSS) had accused Emefiele of allegedly aiding and abetting acts of terrorism.

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has declined an application by the secret police, Department of State Services (DSS) to arrest and detain Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).


The DSS or State Security Service (SSS) had accused Emefiele of allegedly aiding and abetting acts of terrorism.


The security agency said the CBN governor is involved in the financing of terrorism.


It said preliminary investigation revealed various acts of terrorism financing, fraudulent activities perpetrated by Emefiele and his involvement in economic crimes of national security dimension.


In declining the motion ex parte filed by the secret police, Justice J. T. Tsoho, the Chief Judge, said the DSS did not provide any concrete evidence to substantiate its claims that Emefiele was involved in terrorism financing and economic crimes.


The ruling read, “Upon perusal of the documents that constitute the Applicant's Motion Ex parte dated and filed on 7/12/2022, I am constrained to make the following vital observations:


“1. The entire affidavit depositions, especially as per paragraph 4 of the supporting affidavit, purport that preliminary investigation has revealed various acts of Terrorism Financing, fraudulent activities perpetrated by the Respondent and his Involvement in economic crimes of national security dimension. These are no doubt, grave allegations, but which the Applicant has not presented any concrete evidence to support.


“The Applicant should have taken the Court into confidence, while seeking the exercise of its discretion in favour of granting Its application. It is my respectful opinion that the ipse dixit of the Applicant standing on its own, is not sufficient evidence upon which to deprive a person of his liberty.


“2. The Respondent in this application is named as "Godwin Emefiele" without disclosure of his status or position anywhere; not even In the affidavit. It is left to speculation if the "Godwin Emefiele" is the same person as the serving Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. If it is, then he is unarguably a high ranking Public Official In Nigeria and Indeed occupies a sensitive position as one of the key drivers of the Nation's Economy. Therefore, an application of this kind should have evidence of the approval of the Respondent's boss, that such measures are authorised to be taken. I however do not find such evidence in this Instant application, whereas it is a necessary procedure in the observance of the Rule of Law disclosed in the supporting affidavit.


“This is not the situation here, as Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor was shown on Television, even last night, having audience with the President of Nigeria. It therefore seems that the Applicant Intends to use the Court, as a cover for an irregular procedure, which is unacceptable.


“In the light of the foregoing reasons, I decline to grant this application Ex parte. If the Applicant believes that the evidence available to it so far is sufficient, then it can as well arrest and detain the Applicant, even without the Order of this Court. If however the Applicant desires to still pursue this application, then It should place the Respondent on Notice, considering the sensitive Public Office that he occupies.”


SaharaReporters had exclusively reported that Emefiele; the President of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Prof. Benedict Oramah; among others were under investigation over the $300million the pan-African multilateral financial institution gave to Titan Trust Bank Limited to acquire 93.4 per cent stake in the Union Bank of Nigeria Plc.


Others being investigated are Aminu Yaro, a Northern business mogul and one Farouk Gumel.


Sources had told SaharaReporters that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the DSS, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) are all investigating Oramah, Emefiele and others.


In contravention of the CBN act, Emefiele early in the year joined the ruling All Progressives Congress.


The action was against Section 9 of the CBN Act, 2007, which stated: “The Governor and the Deputy Governors shall devote the whole of their time to the service of the bank and while holding office shall not engage in any full or part-time employment or vocation whether remunerated or not except such personal or charitable causes as may be determined by the Board and which do not conflict with or detract from their full-time duties.”


According to the chairman of Ward 6 in the Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State, Nduka Erikpume, the CBN governor had registered as an APC member.


When asked whether Emefiele registered in the APC,  Erikpume said, “Yes, he has registered since February 2021. He is our member.”


Amid widespread condemnations, the CBN governor headed to a Federal High Court in Abuja to seek a constitutional interpretation of his non-resignation while pursuing his political interests.


Recently, the secretary of the dissolved Presidential Committee on Reconciliation and Recovery of Stamp Duties Revenue, Kazaure Gudaji narrated how N89 trillion from stamp duties was misappropriated and diverted by Emefiele.