Godwin Emefiele's Detention & Court Case: All You Should Know
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Politics - July 14, 2023

Godwin Emefiele’s Detention & Court Case: All You Should Know

In recent times, Godwin Emefiele’s detention has garnered significant attention and sparked discussions within the Nigerian financial landscape.

The circumstances surrounding the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), detention and the subsequent legal proceedings have raised questions and concerns among professionals and the general public alike.

This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the key details surrounding Godwin Emefiele’s detention and court case. By delving into the events leading up to his detention, and the legal grounds, we aim to shed light on this complex and significant development within the Nigerian financial sector.

Accusations of terrorism financing and other weighty offences

It is safe to say Emefiele’s woes began when he was accused of financing terrorism during the administration of Former President, Muhammadu Buhari. 

The DSS or State Security Service (SSS) had earlier accused Emefiele of allegedly aiding and abetting acts of terrorism. It also stated that investigations revealed Emefiele’s involvement in economic crimes of national security dimension.

They also reportedly accused Emefiele of giving a terror financier huge amounts of dollars to sell, an act that was killing the Nigerian economy.

Based on these accusations, they filed an application to arrest and detain Emefiele at a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja but the court declined it. The decline was followed by an order restraining secret police from arresting Emefiele delivered by Justice M.A. Hassan of a Federal High Court in Maitama, Abuja.

Emefiele’s unpopular naira design policy

Having evaded DSS arrest, Emefiele introduced a naira redesign policy that put him on the line of a verbal attack from President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who was then campaigning for office ahead of the last presidential election in February.

Tinubu who claimed the naira redesign was a plot to scuttle the 2023 election said, “They hoarded money, they hoarded naira; we will go and vote and we will win. Even if they changed the ink on naira notes. Whatever their plans, it will come to nought. We are going to win. Those in the PDP will lose.”

Since Tinubu came into office, he has also attacked Emefiele, accusing him of destroying Nigeria’s financial system. In his inaugural speech, Tinubu said, “Monetary policy needs a thorough house cleaning. The Central Bank must work towards a unified exchange rate. This will direct funds away from arbitrage into meaningful investment in the plant, equipment and jobs that power the real economy.” 

The President also added that “Interest rates need to be reduced to increase investment and consumer purchasing in ways that sustain the economy at a higher level.”

His suspension from office

A few days after his speech, Tinubu suspended Emefiele, from office. The move came as part of an ongoing investigation of his office and the planned reforms in the economy’s financial sector. 

The President directed Emefiele to immediately hand over the affairs of his office to the Deputy Governor(Operations Directorate). 

Emefiele’s 34 days detention without charge

Following Emefiele’s suspension, the DSS took him into custody for some investigative reasons. They disclosed this in a tweet on their verified Twitter handle after a video of Emefiele went viral.

In the video, Emefiele alighted from a white Toyota pick-up van at an airport and was escorted into a waiting private jet by men holding handcuffs.

The former bank governor has however been in their custody until a Federal Capital Territory High Court at Maitama gave them a one-week ultimatum to either file charges against Emefiele or release him.

DSS finally drags Emefiele to court

Following the court’s order, the DSS yesterday confirmed that Emefiele has been charged to court.

In a statement released on the 13th of July 2023, DSS spokesman Peter Afunanya said, “The public may recall that the Service had, in 2022, applied for a Court Order to detain him in respect of a criminal investigation. Though he obtained a restraining Order from an FCT High Court, the Service, however, arrested him in June 2023, on the strength of suspected fresh criminal infractions/information, one of which forms the basis for his current prosecution.”

DSS further assured the public of professionalism, justice and fairness in handling Emefiele’s matter.

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