Godwin Emefiele, the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, will leave the country if granted bail, according to a statement made before the Federal Capital Territory High Court on Tuesday by the Department of State Services.
The Attorney General of the Federation agreed with the DSS’s position and labeled Emefiele a “flight risk.”
The DSS has been holding the former head of the apex bank without allowing him to visit his family or lawyers, and he is contesting this decision.
Both DSS and OAGF made these claims in separate counter-affidavits submitted in a fundamental rights enforcement lawsuit brought by the suspended CBN boss on Tuesday, when the court resumed.
In its own affidavit, the OAGF dismissed the speculation that Emefiele was being held for terrorist-related crimes. It also said he was not being victimised for his involvement in politics and the botched naira redesign policy.
The OAGF said: “Issues of terrorism financing and fraudulent activities are not part of the grounds for the arrest and detention of the applicant.
“The respondents have not violated the applicant’s right to live in any way, his life is not in danger. The respondents did not subject the applicant to any judicial adjudication to warrant the allegation of denial of a fair hearing.
“With the remand order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction, the said violation of the applicant’s right to freedom of movement does not arise.
The respondents did not subject the applicant to any torture, the details of which have not been provided.”
The DSS, on its part, said that Emefiele was being held pursuant to an order of a competent court.
It added that the suspended CBN boss was arrested “upon reasonable suspicion of committing acts which constitute a criminal breach of trust, incitement to violence, criminal misappropriation of public funds, economic sabotage, economic crimes of national security dimension and undermining the security of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Tijani Gazal, who represented the OAGF, urged the court to dismiss the suit, arguing that Emefiele’s allegation of unlawful detention was unfounded.
Gazali said the suspended CBN governor was being detained on the order of an FCT Chief Magistrates Court.
He told the court that the 0AGF (listed as the 1st respondent) was challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the case.
The SAN argued that Emefiele’s arrest and detention were administrative decisions of an arm of the Executive arm of government.
Emefiele was suspended by President Bola Tinubu and subsequently detained by the DSS on Saturday, June 10, 2023