‘Harassment over trumped-up allegations illegal’ — court restrains DSS from arresting Emefiele

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A federal capital territory (FCT) high court sitting in Maitama has issued an order restraining the Department of State Services (DSS) from arresting Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

 

The restraining order issued by M.A. Hassan, the presiding judge, on Thursday, was also extended to the inspector-general of police (IGP), attorney-general of the federation (AGF), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the CBN, who are listed as defendants.

 

Previously, a federal high court in Abuja declined an application by the DSS to arrest Emefiele over terrorism charges.

 

The development comes amid speculations that the bid to arrest Emefiele might be political, given the impact the redesign of the naira and limit on cash withdrawals might have on vote buying in the 2023 elections.

 

The naira redesign and cash withdrawal policy has elicited varying reactions, while the house of representatives had recently expressed reservations over the absence of the CBN governor following an invitation for him to appear before the lawmakers.

 

But in a letter to the house of representatives on December 21, the CBN had said Emefiele is out of the country attending to an official engagement and health challenges.

 

While appearing before the house on December 22, Aisha Ahmad, CBN deputy governor, financial systems stability, insisted that the policy was not targeted at politicians.

Meanwhile, the CBN has now reviewed the cash withdrawal policy by increasing the maximum weekly limit for withdrawals across all channels by individuals and corporate organisations to N500,000 and N5 million, respectively.


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