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Court fixes Aug 15 to hear Emefiele, FG’s applications regarding custody

 


A federal high court in Lagos has fixed August 15 to entertain applications regarding the custody of Godwin Emefiele, suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

 

Nicholas Oweibo, the presiding judge, on Thursday, adjourned hearing of the applications filed by the federal government and counsels to Emefiele.

 

BACKGROUND

On July 25, Emefiele was arraigned on a two-count charge bordering on “illegal possession” of firearms at a federal high court in Ikoyi and was granted bail in the sum of N20 million.

 

Oweibo, the judge, had ordered that Emefiele be kept in the custody of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) pending the fulfillment of his bail conditions.

 

But the Department of State Services (DSS) insisted that Emefiele must return to its custody — a development that led to the face-off between the secret police and prison officials.

 

After the face-off, DSS rearrested Emefiele on the court premises.

 

The secret service proceeded to file an application before a high court of the federal capital territory seeking to further detain the suspended CBN governor.

 

The application was struck out after it was withdrawn by the service over jurisdictional concerns.

 

On August 3, the federal government also filed an application before the federal high court in Lagos, seeking leave to appeal the order granting bail to Emefiele.

 

In the application filed by Nkiru Jones-Nebo, a deputy director of public prosecutions of the federation, the federal government also sought a stay of execution of the order remanding Emefiele in the custody of the NCoS.

The federal government wants the court to remand Emefiele in the custody of the DSS.

 

In the application filed by Emefiele’s counsels, they asked the court to restrain the federal government from further prosecuting their client.

 

They said the federal government is in “brazen disobedience” of the subsisting orders of the court granting Emefiele bail on July 25.

 

THURSDAY’S PROCEEDINGS

During proceedings on Thursday, K.A. Fagbemi, the prosecuting counsel, asked the court to hear the federal government’s application seeking a stay of execution of the court order on Emefiele’s bail.

 

Fagbemi said the federal government filed its application first and served it on the defence counsels on August 4.

 

Responding, Victor Opara, counsel to Emefiele, said priority should not be given to the federal government based on time of filing since the court order was disobeyed.

 

Opara argued that the applications of both parties should be entertained on the same day.

 

He added that the federal government has nothing to lose since the defendant is in its custody.

 

After listening to both arguments, the judge ruled that the applications filed by both parties will be heard on August 15.

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