An Abuja High Court sitting in Maitama, on Thursday, ordered the Department of State Services, DSS, to either release suspended Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele from jail or charge him with a crime within seven days.
The court, in a judgement that was delivered by Justice Hamza Muazu, held that Emefiele’s continued detention without trial, amounted to a gross violation of his fundamental human rights.
According to Justice Muazu, the foundation of the Nigerian Constitution is the rule of law, which presumes that everything must be carried out in accordance with the law.
“Detention, no matter how small can amount to a breach of fundamental rights,” the court ruled, adding that the DSS should issue administrative bail to the embattled suspended CBN Governor pending his trial because the charges against him comprised crimes that could result in bail.
However, the court declared that there was proof on hand that a Chief Magistrate Court in Abuja had issued an order allowing the security agency to hold Emefiele for 14 days in order to complete its investigations.
It held that Emefiele did not establish that his arrest, detention and investigation was unlawful since it was based on a valid court order.
Describing the DSS as a reputable institution mandated to guarantee internal security of the country, Justice Muazu, said it must conduct its operations with strict adherence to provisions of the Constitution.
Emefiele, who has been detained since June 9, accused the DSS of infringing his constitutional rights to liberty, freedom of movement, and a fair trial in his lawsuit, which was filed under the number FCT/HC/CV/6450/23.