Court stops DSS from arresting Emefiele over terrorism charges

A federal high court sitting in Abuja is said to have refused an application by the Department of State Services (DSS) to arrest and detain Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

TheCable is reporting that the judge, JT Tsoho, refused the application because the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) did not sufficiently convince him that Emefiele committed terrorism financing or economic crimes. Justice Tsoho also expressed concern that the EFCC did not disclose that the respondent (Emefiele) is the current CBN governor.

The report quoted a source who said that such an application should have been accompanied with the presidential approval because of the grave implications for the Nigerian economy if the CBN governor is arrested and detained.

Emefiele’s decision to redesign the naira and impose cash withdrawal limits is believed to be at the roots of his current travail. Some politicians have accused the CBN governor of targeting them with the new policy. The guideline, some say, would prevent vote-buying in next year’s general election.

Aside the court ruling, a group of civil society organisations have raised the alarm about Emefiele’s possible arrest. The group said the move aims at removing Emefiele from office.

But the Department of State Security (DSS) on Monday urged members of the public to avoid being used to “undermine” its investigations.

Peter Afunanya, the DSS spokesperson, in his statement said that the service would not be distracted by those seeking to use “propaganda” to undermine its lawful investigations.

“As such, the Service will continue to disseminate actionable intelligence to the relevant authorities devoid of any sentiment,” the statement reads.

“While professionally discharging its mandate, the DSS pledges to remain focused and unbiased. It will not, by any means, succumb to propaganda, intimidation and the desperation of hirelings to undermine it.

“It will also not give room to the use of falsehood and deceit to misdirect public understanding and perceptions of issues of national importance.

“Given not to join issues, the Service warns those on a wild goose chase to be mindful of their actions. Similarly, it urges members of the public to disregard the vituperations and rantings of misguided elements and not allow themselves to be used as instruments of destabilisation.

“Notably, these elements should remember the famous axiom that ‘you will only deceive some people, some of the time, but not all people, all the time’.

“To put it succinctly, the Service will not be distracted by persons and/or groups from carrying out its duties to the Nation, citizens, and, President and Commander-in-Chief.”

Afunanya asked Nigerians to “avoid being used to thwart or undermine the Service and its lawful investigations as those who wish to act in the breach will be dealt with in accordance with the law”.


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