The suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, is scheduled to appear before the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court on July 25. He will enter his plea before Justice Nicholas Oweibo in response to allegations leveled against him by the Department of State Services (DSS).
Emefiele’s legal troubles began when DSS operatives stormed his Ikoyi residence in Lagos on June 10, following his suspension as CBN governor by President Bola Tinubu. He has been in custody since then, with the DSS citing an order from an Abuja Chief Magistrate Court as the basis for his detention.
A consortium of human rights lawyers, led by Mr. Maxwell Okpara and Ahmed Tijani, has contested Emefiele’s continued detention, accusing the DSS of violating existing court judgments. The legal practitioners have also initiated contempt action against the Director General of the DSS, Mr. Yusuf Bichi, for his role in the matter.
In the two-count charge filed against Emefiele, marked FHC/L/437/2023, the DSS accused him of possessing a single barrel shotgun (Jojeff Magnum 8371) without a license, an offense under Section 4 of the Firearms Laws of the Federation 2004 and punishable under Section 27 (1) (b) (i) of the same act. Additionally, he is accused of having 123 rounds of live ammunition (cartridges) without a license.
The security agency claimed to have recovered these items during a search of Emefiele’s residence at No.3B Iru Close, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Despite the charges against him, Emefiele’s legal team is poised to enter his plea in court on the designated date. The case has drawn significant attention and raises questions about the legality of his detention and the handling of the matter by the DSS.