I’m surprised Buhari hasn’t cautioned DSS over Emefiele, it’s embarrassing – Falana


Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, says he is “flabbergasted” that President Muhammadu Buhari has not called the Department of State Services (DSS), to order over its alleged case against Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).


Recently, it emerged that the DSS had approached a federal high court in Abuja seeking a warrant to arrest Emefiele over allegations that he was involved in terrorism financing and economic crimes.


J.T Tsoho, the chief judge, declined the application and held that the secret police did not provide any concrete evidence to substantiate its claims.


There were suggestions 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 elections.


Speaking on Sunday Politics, a Channels Television programme, Falana, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said the government must not be seen as engaging in “cheap blackmail”.


He said the secret police should file a proper charge against Emefiele so that he could enter into defense.


“I can say without fear or contradiction that Mr Godwin Emefiele is not in Nigeria, he hasn’t returned to the country because he has been quietly declared wanted by the State Security Service (SSS),” Falana said.


“This can only happen in a banana republic where the governor of the CBN will be accused of a grave offense of terrorism financing. The details are not stipulated, they are not outlined. These guys play on our collective intelligence because they know we are very forgetful.


“You can’t raise such a serious allegation against a governor of the CBN and then pretend that nothing has happened.


“Has the government considered the enormous implications of the effect of a wanted governor of the CBN on the economy?


“I expect the SSS to come out with the allegations, and if Mr Emefiele is not going to return to the country, file a charge in the federal high court so that he can get his lawyers and prepare his defense.


 “The government must not engage in cheap blackmail. I am completely flabbergasted that the president of our country has not intervened either to call the SSS to order or order Mr Emefiele to return to the country or be fired – but we can’t go on like this like we are operating in a banana republic. It is so embarrassing.”

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