“Drama Unfolds as DSS and Prisons Officials Clash Over Emefiele’s Case”
Yesterday, suspended Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, was arraigned in a Federal High Court in Lagos after spending 46 days in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS). The court granted him bail on the charge of illegal possession of firearms. However, the situation turned dramatic as a scuffle erupted between DSS operatives and Nigerian Prisons Service officials over the custody of Emefiele.
The scuffle escalated into a free-for-all, and the situation grew tense when NCoS officials brought in reinforcements. Despite the court granting him bail, the DSS re-arrested Emefiele immediately after he left the courtroom. The two agencies seemed to be in disagreement over the custody of the accused.
The charges against Emefiele include the possession of a single-barrel shotgun and 123 rounds of live ammunition without a license, as alleged by the Federal Government. Emefiele pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Emefiele’s counsel, Chief Joseph Daudu, SAN, applied for bail, arguing that his client had been in DSS custody for an extended period. However, the bail application was opposed by a Deputy Director of the Federal Ministry of Justice, who claimed not to have received it.
Despite the arguments, Justice Nicholas Oweibo granted Emefiele bail in the sum of N20 million with specific conditions. The judge remanded Emefiele in prison custody, which led to Daudu raising concerns that the DSS might re-arrest his client, despite the court’s ruling.
Outside the court premises, a stand-off ensued between DSS and NCoS officials, raising tensions and concerns about the situation’s impact on the country’s democracy. Several legal experts and human rights advocates have expressed their disappointment with the actions of the security agencies involved and called for adherence to court orders and professionalism.
The clash between the two agencies over the custody of an accused individual has sparked national outrage and raised questions about the rule of law and the level of impunity displayed by some government agencies. The situation is being closely monitored by the public, legal community, and human rights organizations.