On Wednesday, at the Maitama division of the Abuja High Court, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the detained Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), was granted bail by Justice Olukayode Adeniyi. The court ruled that he should be released into the custody of his legal representatives.
The judge emphasized the need to put an end to detention without trial and attributed the ruling to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failing to comply with the court’s November 2 order.
Furthermore, the court stated that it couldn’t permit Emefiele’s continued detention based on the Federal Government’s assertion that he would face a fresh charge on November 15. The court found this claim to be speculative since there was no concrete evidence to support that the scheduled arraignment would indeed take place.
Additionally, the court observed discrepancies in the purported remand order presented by the Federal Government’s lawyer, which was signed by an Abuja Chief Magistrate and had conflicting dates.
“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 stated that section 298(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 granted the court the authority to issue necessary orders, even in the presence of a remand order against an applicant.
As a result, the court ordered that Emefiele should be released to a team of three Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) who had represented him in the case. These lawyers were instructed to ensure his appearance in court on November 15 for the planned arraignment or any other date as required.
Justice Adeniyi also instructed Emefiele to surrender all his international documents to the most senior Registrar of the court until his arraignment.
Subsequently, the court adjourned further proceedings in the case until November 17. This ruling was the outcome of a fundamental right enforcement suit filed by the former CBN governor, who had been in detention for approximately five months, through his legal team led by Mr. Matthew Burkaa, SAN.
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