After Ignoring Amosun’s 1,000 AK-47 Rifles, Four Million Bullets, DSS Charges Suspended CBN Governor, Emefiele Over One Handgun Found In Home
Godwin Emefiele has been slammed with two counts of illegal possession of a firearm, as the Tinubu administration continues to find ways to nail the former central bank Governor after multiple courts found him unanswerable to previously filed charges of terrorism and corruption.
Federal authorities said they found an unlicensed shotgun that operates on a magnum cartridge, apparently the 44 calibre variety, according to court filings in Lagos. The charges, which said Mr Emefiele also had 123 bullets in his possession for the unlicensed firearm, were brought by the State Security Service, the same repressive national intelligence agency that successive Nigerian administrations have weaponised against political adversaries and everyday citizens.
The charges said the weapons were recovered from Mr Emefiele’s home in Ikoyi, on June 15, 2023, even though Mr Emefiele was arrested on June 9, 2023, and has been locked up in Abuja ever since. A spokesman for the SSS did not immediately return a request seeking comments about the discrepancy between the date Mr Emefiele was arrested and how arms were found in his possession a week later in Lagos.
While serving as the central bank governor, Mr Emefiele sought unsuccessfully to rescue the ruling All Progressives Congress’ presidential ticket from Bola Tinubu. Mr Tinubu, who was declared winner of the controversial 2023 presidential election in February, immediately fired Mr Emefiele upon his assumption of presidential duties in May and kept him in illegal custody.
Several courts have ruled for Mr Emefiele to be freed on the account that his arrest and continued incarceration were baseless and extra-constitutional. The rulings followed calls for Mr Emefiele’s release from rights activists, who said his detention was untidy even as they acknowledged his alleged corruption and recklessness while in office.
In an information sheet dated July 13, 2023, the SSS said Mr Emefiele’s possession of a firearm and bullets in contravention of the 2004 Firearms Act — a criminal statute that carries a jail sentence.
The charges against Mr Emefiele came as the SSS continued to ignore Ibikunle Amosun, a former governor of Ogun who was exposed for illegally stockpiling firearms and ammunition during his rein as the governor of Ogun state.
Mr Amosun, who served a two-term of eight years as Ogun governor, was caught with 1,000 AK-47 rifles and four million rounds of live ammunition during a period of rampant armed banditry, abductions and political assassinations.
A spokesman for the SSS did not return a request seeking comments about when Mr Amosun would be charged, four years after he left office as governor and lost his constitutional immunity from prosecution. Mr Amosun, a member of the APC, stepped down for Mr Tinubu at the ruling party’s national convention in June 2022.