Emefiele: Lawyers initiate contempt case against DSS DG, Bichi

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A group of human rights lawyers has initiated a contempt action against the Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi, over the arrest and prolonged detention of the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele. The lawyers filed Form 48, which notifies the consequences of disobedience to a court order, and Form 49, which seeks to commit an alleged contemnor to prison, before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. They accused the DSS boss of disobeying court judgments that restrained the agency from arresting, detaining, or interrogating Emefiele for offenses related to terrorism financing, money laundering, and financial crimes. The lawyers claim that Emefiele has been unlawfully detained for over a month while the DSS searches for evidence without appealing to set aside the court order. They accused the DSS of disobeying judgments delivered by other high court judges that also prohibited Emefiele’s arrest. The lawyers vowed to pursue the case to ensure that public offices are not used for personal vendettas. Emefiele was suspended as CBN governor on June 10 and has been in custody since then, with the DSS claiming his detention was based on the order of an Abuja Chief Magistrate Court. Emefiele is facing charges of unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, which the lawyers argue are bailable offenses.

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