The suspended CBN Central Bank Of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele has been caught in possession of gun and ammunition illegally and has been charged to court accordingly.
In a two-count charge marked: FHC/L/437/2023, filed on July 13 at the Federal High Court in Lagos, by the DSS, Emefiele is to be subjected to trial for unlawful possession of one single barrel shot gun (Jojeff Magnum 8371) without licence, which constitutes an offence under Section 4 of the Firearms Laws of the Federation 2004 and punishable under Section 27 (1) (b) (i) of the same act.
The suspended CBN Governor is equally accused of having, in his possession, 123 rounds of live ammunition (catridges) without licence, which items were said to have been unlawfully kept at No.3B Iru Close, Ikoyi, Lagos “on or about the 15th June, 2023.”
Emefiele was arrested on June 10, 2023, a day after he was suspended by President Tinubu, and he is still being held in the custody of the DSS.
A federal High Court Abuja had Thursday faulted his continued detention and ordered the DSS to charge him to court within a week or release him.
The DSS later disclosed in a statement on Thursday that Emefiele had been charged to Court.
Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Joseph Daudu (SAN), human rights lawyers and a rights advocacy group, the Centre for Social Justice and Accountability (CSJA) have called on the federal government, to strictly adhere to the principle of Rule of Law, fairness and justice in the handling of the case of the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.
While Daudu expressed optimism that President Bola Tinubu, with his background as advocate of democracy, will not support arbitrariness; Maxwell Opara, Abdulazeez Tijani and Anthony Akpua of the CSJA said the way the federal government handles the case will shape the way foreign investors and related interests relate with the new administration.
They spoke on Saturday in reaction to the various court pronouncements on the continued detention of Emefiele
Daudu said: “I do not think that the President, who is a newly minted President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, will like to start his administration with the organizations under him disobeying court orders.
“He (Tinubu) was in the forefront as a NADECO man to chastise military governments for disobeying court orders.
“Now that power is in his hand, we will see whether he, himself will obey court orders,” the ex-NBA President said in reaction to Thursday’s judgment by Justice Hamza Muazu of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
On his part, Opara noted that from his experience, the DSS was creating the impression that it’s above the law of the country.
He said he was not surprised about how Emefiele’s case was being handled by DSS, “because the secret police has made disrespect to rule of law part of its life..
Tijani on his part, said President Tinubu must prove and establish that he is a true democrat and not a semi- democrat like some of his predecessors.
He argued that Emefiele was not charged to court for known criminal offences within the time allowed by law.
“For more than four months, the DSS had sought to arrest Emefiele. Between that time and now, it ought to have completed its investigation. DSS cannot hide under Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, to hold a Nigerian citizen till eternity because ACJA is inferior to the 1999 Constitution,” he said.
The activist pointed out that Emefiele’s case will be a big test to President Tinubu in his avowed commitment to the rule of law”, adding that, Emefiele’s rights must be respected until the law court says otherwise,” Tijani said.
Akpua noted that the whole world is watching the way the government is handling the case, with its capacity to shape the way the country is viewed by international investors in the area of respect of the rule of law.