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BREAKING: Court Fines FG N100m For Violating Emefiele’s Rights



The Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja has declared the prolonged detention of a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emfiele, without trial as a flagrant violation of his fundamental rights.

The court also slammed a N100m fine against the Federal Government and the Economic Financial Crimes Commission.

It also restrained the FG and its agents from rearresting or detaining Emefiele without an order of court.

The judgment was given in a fundamental human rights suit filed by the former CBN governor following his prolonged detention in the custody of the Department of State Services.

He asked the court to order the respondents to pay him N1bn damages and to restrain them from further arresting and or detaining him.

Recalls that the ex-CBN boss was arrested on June 10 shortly after his suspension by President Bola Tinubu.

Listed as defendants in the suit were the Federal Government, the Attorney General of the Federation; the EFCC and its chairman.

Delivering the judgment on Monday, the presiding judge, Olukayode Adeniyi, also restrained the FG and its agents from re-arresting or detaining Emefiele without an order of court.

He said, “It is hereby declared that the actions of the first and fourth respondents and its agents incarcerating the applicants from June 13, 2023, to October 26, 2023, when he was transferred to the custody of the fourth respondent and his further detention by the third and fourth respondents without arraignment in the court of law for the commission of any offence up until November 8, 2023, when by the order of this court when the applicant was released on bail to his senior learned counsel constitutes a flagrant violation of the applicant’s fundamental rights to personal liberty preserved by the provision of section 35 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1979 and Article 6 of the African charter on human and peoples right.

“Also, a sum of 100m only is herby awarded in favour of the applicant against the first and fourth respondents jointly as damages for the unlawful violation of his fundamental right to his personal liberty.

“Without prejudice to the powers of the court with respect to the criminal trial, the applicant is currently facing at the High Court of the FCT, the respondents are hereby restrained either by themselves, their officers, agents, or any person acting on their behalf from further re-arresting or detaining the applicants without an order of a court of competent jurisdiction.”

During his ruling, Adeniyi said he found the remand warrant obtained by the third and fourth respondents were questionable.

“The third and fourth respondents referred to remand warrants obtained from the chief magistrate of the FCT in Wuse. I examined the said orders from the two magistrate courts and my finding is that the credibility is questionable,” he said.

He noted that the practice of arresting suspects before investigation by security agencies must stop.

Adeniyi said, “Time has come to put an end to the unwholesome culture and practices of arresting and keeping a suspect in detention before the investigation of the suspect alleged of an offence. A suspect must be allowed to have his day in court if indeed there is evidence of a commission of the crime against him. ”

He also noted that the framers of the Constitution did not place a restriction on the High Court a citizens could seek redress for the violation of their fundamental human rights.