A former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), four Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), and constitutional lawyers have condemned an alleged new attempt to detain and arrest Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), of terrorism.
Senior lawyers, including a former AGF and Minister of Justice and Defense, Adetokunbo Kayode, Oba Maduabuchi, Emeka Ozoani, M.M. Nurudeen, Abdul Mohammed, and Dr. Emeka Obegolu, signed a letter in which they claimed to have seen ongoing efforts to sidestep ongoing court orders, disregard them, and unreasonably and illegally interfere with Mr. Emefiele’s fundamental rights.
They urged the current AGF to use his good offices to guarantee and ensure that the Government, especially the security agencies, observe the Rule of Law as a foundation of a democratic society by adhering to court decisions relating to Emefiele’s fundamental rights in a letter dated January 6, 2023, titled “Emefiele: Let The Rule of Law Prevail” and addressed to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN).
The letter reads in part, “We are pleased to present our respect and best wishes to you. We are certain that you have followed with keen interest the events of the last few weeks which climaxed with the dismissal by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of the Application of the DSS to arrest and detain the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele under the Terrorism Finance Laws, etc., pursuant to unsubstantiated allegations of terrorism financing and other economic crimes with national security implications. We also note the judgment of the High Court of the FCT, coram Hassan J., which in the main, pronounced on and validated the fundamental rights of Mr. Godwin Emefiele. In spite of these two categorical judicial decisions, we observe moves to still proceed and sidetrack and disobey the court decisions and unduly and unlawtully interfere with Mr. Emefiele’s fundamental rights.
”In the circumstance, we wish to urge the Hon. Attorney General of the Federation to use his good offices to guarantee and ensure that the Government, especially the security agencies, observe the Rule of Law as a foundation of a democratic society by complying with court decisions. The court, as the last hope of the citizen, has made a pronouncement on the legal rights and obligations of citizen Godwin Emefiele, it behoves on all agencies of government to obey the order of the court, until such order is set aside by an appellate court.
”The constitutional role of the judiciary as the third arm of government includes to serve as a bulwark against oppression and intimidation. The judiciary remains available to both the government and the citizens, in the ventilation of perceived grievances. Consequently, we respectfully urge the Hon. Attorney General, as Chief Law Officer of the Federation, to ensure adherence to the Rule of Law and advise the security agencies, especially the Department of State Security (DSS) to comply with the order of the court and not do anything that will cast this government in a very negative light in this circumstance. This is very important as it will signal to Nigerians and the International Community that the government is committed to the rule of law as we proceed into this transition era. Please find attached the judgment C.T.C of the Judgement and Enrolled Court Order in the above case. we trust that you will be guided by the judgment and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”