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PHOTO: EFCC complies with judge’s order, produces Emefiele in court

 


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has produced the detained former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele before an Abuja High Court sitting at Maitama.

 

Justice Olukayode Adeniyi had in a ruling on November 2, ordered the anti-graft agency to either release the erstwhile boss of the apex bank who has been in detention since June 9, unconditionally, or produce him in court to be granted bail.

 

However, the agency failed to comply with the order when the matter came up for hearing last Monday.

 

Emefiele’s lawyer, Mr. Mathew Burkaa, SAN, had complained to the court that EFCC flouted both orders.

 

Burkaa, SAN, bemoaned that the agency spurned the directive of the court, even though it was promptly served with the order.

 

“My lord, they have flouted both orders and today marks the 149th day of the Applicant being in custody.

 

“The Applicant is still in custody of the 3rd and 4th Respondents, up till this moment that we speak,” he lamented.

 

On its part, the EFCC, through its lawyer, Mr. Farouk Abdallah, confirmed that it received the court order, insisting that contrary to the claim of the Applicant’s counsel, Emefiele has not been in its custody for over 100 days.

 

“My lord, I do confirm that we received the order. It is however not correct that the Applicant has been in custody of the b3rd and 4th Respondents for over 100 days.

 

“He has only been in our custody for only 7 days.

 

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“We got the processes that were filed before this court and we intend to react to them so as to set the record straight.

 

“Unfortunately, we were unable to do so because the processes that were received by the 3rd and 4th Respondents were incomplete.

 

“We are not insinuating that it was deliberate. It may be inadvertent on the part of the counsel for the Applicant.

 

“Certain exhibits they referred to, particularly exhibit E, were not attached,” the EFCC lawyer added.

 

Not satisfied with the response, Justice Adeniyi asked the EFCC lawyer to explain to the court, if the absence of the exhibit was sufficient reason for the Commission to disobey an order of the court.

 

“I made an order and it was very clear. Are you telling the court that because an affidavit was not attached, that was why you refused to comply with orders I made on November 2,” Justice Adeniyi queried.

 

Responding, Mr. Abdullah said the anti-graft agency misunderstood the court order.

 

“My lord, we thought that the order was that we should either release him unconditionally or bring him to the court today so that the bail application will be heard.

 

“The 3rd Respondent is a law abiding establishment that has utmost respect for this court and will not flout orders of this court.

 

“As such, we pray the court to direct the Applicant to furnish us with all the processes to enable us to make the appropriate response,” Abdullah pleaded.

 

Before the case was adjourned till today, Justice Adeniyi directed Emefiele’s lawyer to serve the requested exhibit on the EFCC.

 

“The court hereby restates the order it made on November 2 for the Applicant to be released unconditionally or alternatively, produce him in court on the next adjourned date for purpose of admitting him to bail,” the court held.

 

In compliance with the order, the agency, on Wednesday, brought the embattled ex-CBN governor before the court.

 

Emefiele had in an ex-parte motion he filed before the court, sought an order to compel the EFCC to release him from custody, pending the determination of his fundamental right enforcement suit.

 

Alternatively, he prayed the court to grant him bail and equally award N5million against the Respondents for breaching his fundamental rights.

 

Cited as Respondents in the suit marked: FCT/HC/CV/040/2023, are; the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, as well as the anti-graft agency itself.

 

It will be recalled that President Bola Tinubu had on June 9, suspended Emefiele from office as the head of the apex bank.

 

He was later arrested at his Lagos residence by the Department of State Services, DSS.

 

Emefiele had since then, faced a two-count charge of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition before the Federal High Court in Lagos, as well as a 20-count corruption charge that the Federal Government entered against him and two others before an Abuja High Court sitting at Maitama.

 

However, proceedings in both cases were put on hold, following the decision of the Defendants to explore a plea bargain deal with FG.

 

The former CBN boss was subsequently transferred to the EFCC detention facility, by the DSS.

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