10 Nov Nigeria: Former CBN Governor Emefiele returns home after 151 days in detention
By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria
Abuja – Jailed former Central Bank of Nigeria CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele arrived at his home in Abuja yesterday after being granted bail by the Abuja High Court.
He spent his 151 days in secure custody.
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court sitting in Maitama has ordered his release from custody despite the objections of both the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The court, in a judgment by Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, ordered the embattled former CBN governor to be released to his lawyer but ordered him to produce all his foreign travel documents.
“Detention without trial must end,” the judge ruled, with an earlier ruling on November 2 in which the court asked the anti-corruption agency to release the applicant unconditionally or grant him bail. He pointed out that he had ordered either. .
According to Justice Adeniyi, it was owing to EFCC`s refusal to comply with the first leg of the order that led to the production of Emefiele before the court on Wednesday.
The court said it could not allow the Applicant to remain in custody based on the claim by the Federal Government that he was already scheduled for arraignment before another court on November 15.
It held that the claim was speculative as there was nothing to establish that the planned arraignment would hold as scheduled.
More so, the court noted that a purported remand order that FG`s lawyer, Mr. Oyin Koleoso, tendered before it, signed by an Abuja Chief Magistrate, which gave the permission for Emefiele to be remanded for a period of 14 days, bore conflicting dates- April 26 and October 27, 2023.
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“A very crucial fact that this court cannot overlook is the Applicant`s claim that he has been incarcerated for a period of upward of 151 days without trial,” Justice Adeniyi added.
He submitted that section 298(2) of the ACJA Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 empowers the court to make the necessary orders even if the applicant is in custody.
“The order of this court dated November 2 is already very clear: “Today’s proceedings are based on the refusal of the third and fourth defendants to comply with the order of this court to release the applicant unconditionally. arose out of this,” the judge ruled.
As a result, he ordered Emefiele to be handed over to a team of three Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) to represent him in the matter, who will meet him on the day of his scheduled arraignment or at any other time. He added that he would meet with him. If possible, you should show the court that he is obligated to appear in court.
Justice Adeniyi ordered Emefiele to hand over all international documents to the Chief Recorder pending his arraignment. He then adjourned further proceedings in the case until November 17.
The judgment was based on fundamental rights.