Godwin Emefiele faces two charges related to the illegal possession of a firearm as the Tinubu administration seeks new grounds to prosecute the former head of the central bank. Despite previous courts finding him not guilty of allegations of terrorism and corruption, the government persists in its pursuit.
Based on court documents from Lagos, federal investigators allege that they have discovered an illegal shotgun in Mr. Emefiele’s possession, specifically a magnum cartridge likely of the 44 calibre variety. Additionally, the Department of State Service claims that he had 123 rounds of ammunition for an unlicensed pistol.
The charges state that the weapons were seized from Mr. Emefiele’s residence in Ikoyi on June 15, 2023, despite his arrest on June 9, 2023. Since then, he has been detained in Abuja.
According to an information sheet dated July 13, 2023, the SSS asserts that Mr. Emefiele’s possession of the firearm and ammunition violates the 2004 Firearms Act, a criminal statute that carries a prison sentence.
The second charge accuses the suspended CBN Governor of unlawfully possessing 123 rounds of live ammunition (cartridges) without a license, which contravenes Section 8 of the Firearms Act Cap F28 Laws of the Federation 2004. This offense is punishable under Section 27 (1)(b)(il) of the same Act.
Although a judge has yet to be assigned to the case, indications suggest that this will occur within the week.
Emefiele has been in the custody of the DSS since June 10. The spokesman for the DSS, Dr. Peter Afunanya, had said it was for “investigative reasons”.
Afunanya, in a statement on Thursday, also disclosed that the agency had charged Emefiele to court following an Abuja High Court ruling.
Count one of the charges reads; That you, Godwin Emefiele, Male, of No. 8 Colorado Street Maitama Abuja, on or about the 15th of June 2023, at No. 3b Iru Close, Ikoyi, Eti Osa Local Government, Lagos State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, had in your possession one (1) Single Barrel shotgun (JOJEFF MAGNUM 8371) without a licence. You thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 4 of the Firearms Act, Cap. F28 Laws of the Federation 2004, and punishable under Section 27 (1b) of the same Act.
Count two: That you, Godwin Emefiele, Male, of No. 8 Colorado Street Maitama Abuja, on or about June 15, 2023, at No. 3b Iru Close, Ikoyi, Eti Osa Local Government, Lagos State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, had in your possession One Hundred and Twenty-Three (123) Rounds of live ammunition (Cartridges) without a licence You thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8 of the Firearms Act Cap F28 Laws of the Federation 2004 and punishable under Section 27 (1)(b)(il) of the same Act.