The Department of State Services (DSS) on Tuesday told the Federal Capital Territory High Court that suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, will flee the country if granted bail.
The Attorney General of the Federation also supported the argument of the DSS, describing Emefiele as a “flight risk.”
Emefiele is challenging his detention by the DSS and denying him access to his family members and lawyers.
Recall that the former head of the apex bank was suspended by President Bola Tinubu and subsequently detained by the DSS on Saturday, June 10, 2023
At the resumption of hearing on Tuesday, both DSS and AGF stated these in separate counter-affidavits filed in a fundamental rights enforcement suit by the suspended CBN boss.
In its own affidavit, the OAGF however 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 chief 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 Emefiele was being detained on the order of an FCT Chief Magistrates Court.
He told the court that the OAGF (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. He stressed that a court’s jurisdiction is determined by the relief sought by an applicant.
After entertaining arguments from parties, Justice Hamza Muazu adjourned until July 13 for a ruling.