Human Rights Lawyers Criticize DSS Over Insulting Tweet, Seek Redress for Detained CBN Governor”
A group of human rights lawyers has expressed outrage over a tweet from the official handle of the Department of State Services (DSS), which they claim denigrates the legal profession. The lawyers had previously filed a contempt case against the Director-General of the DSS, Mr. Yusuf Bichi, over the prolonged detention of the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele.
In the tweet, the DSS referred to the lawyers as “charge and bail lawyers” and linked them to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Eastern Security Network (ESN). The lawyers argued that the tweet was insulting and accused the security agency of threatening to frame them with terrorism-related charges.
The offensive tweet had remained on the DSS’s official handle for about 17 hours, generating widespread outrage and condemnation. The lawyers believe that the tweet exposed the ethnic profiling and persecution that Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who is of Igbo descent, has been facing under the DSS’s directives.
In response to the tweet and Emefiele’s prolonged detention, the lawyers have filed Form 48 and Form 49, seeking consequences for the DSS’s alleged disobedience to court orders. They are urging President Bola Tinubu to intervene and call the security agency to order. Additionally, they plan to write petitions to international bodies and approach the court seeking redress.
Meanwhile, Mr. Godwin Emefiele has filed a bail application, requesting bail on self-recognizance while the charges against him are pending. Emefiele’s lawyers argue that the charges are bailable, and he is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. They assure the court that he will cooperate fully and show up for trial on time if granted bail. Emefiele has been in DSS custody since June.