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Court  Delivers  Judgment  On Emefiele’s Fundamental Rights Suit Jan 8

A highly anticipated judgment is set to be delivered on January 8, 2024, by the High Court in Maitama, Abuja, in the enforcement of a fundamental rights suit filed by Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

 The trial judge, Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, fixed the date after hearing submissions from lawyers representing parties involved.

Emefiele had filed the suit against the federal government, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the commission itself.

The allegations include a breach of fundamental rights to life, personal liberty, fair hearing, and freedom of movement.

Emefiele’s lawyer, Mr. Mathew Burkaa (SAN), argued that his client was unlawfully detained for 151 days, surpassing the legal limit of 48 hours. 

Burkaa urged the court to enter judgment and award damages in favor of Emefiele, emphasizing that the government’s challenge to the authority of the deponent demonstrated a lack of transparency.

Burkaa further expressed concerns about Emefiele’s rights being violated and highlighted the potential for further harassment and arrests. 

He claimed that the former CBN governor was apprehensive about his safety, especially considering subsequent activities following the filing of the enforcement suit and his arraignment before Justice Hamza Muazu.

In response, counsel for the first and second respondents, Oyin Koleosho, called for the dismissal of the suit, asserting that it lacked merit. 

He argued that Emefiele’s transfer to EFCC custody occurred before the application was filed, raising questions about the validity of the deponent’s information.

Counsel for the third and fourth respondents, Farouk Abdullah, urged the court to dismiss the suit, alleging it was misconceived and brought in bad faith. 

Abdullah emphasized the need to consider different agencies’ mandates and suggested that Emefiele should have included the Department of State Service (DSS) in the suit, given the allegations made against them.

 

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