A federal high court in Abuja has declined an application by the Department of State Services (DSS) to arrest and detain Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
In declining the motion ex parte — filed by an applicant in the absence of the respondent — Justice JT Tsoho, the chief judge, said the secret police did not provide any concrete evidence to substantiate its claims that Emefiele was involved in terrorism financing and economic crimes.
TheCable quoted sources at the high court to have said that the judge stated he should have been taken into confidence if there was any evidence to back the allegations in the application, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/2255/2022.
“The honourable judge also wondered why the name of the respondent was given simply as ‘Godwin Emefiele’ without a material disclosure that he is the same person as the CBN governor, a highly ranking public official who occupies an extremely sensitive position,” a source told TheCable.
The court said such an application should have been accompanied with the presidential approval because of the grave implications for the Nigerian economy if the CBN governor was arrested and detained.
There are suggestions that the bid to arrest Emefiele might be political given the impact the redesign of the naira and limit on cash withdrawals might have on vote-buying in the 2023 elections.
A number of politicians have complained that the naira redesign is targeted at them but President Muhammadu Buhari has given his full backing to Emefiele over the policy.
On Monday, a group of civil society organisations raised the alarm that there was a plot to frame Emefiele for terrorism and remove him from office.