EXCLUSIVE: Suspended CBN Governor, Emefiele Facing Gun, Ammunition Possession Charges
The suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele is likely to face charges of illegal possession of gun and live ammunition, Channels Television reported last night.
His trial is scheduled for Lagos next week.
The Department of State Services (DSS) had said on Thursday that it had charged Emefiele to court but gave no details of the charges.
However, a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, sitting at Apo, Abuja, yesterday voided his arrest and detention.
This came 24 hours after a separate FCT High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja had ordered the DSS to charge Emefiele to court within seven days or release him.
Emefiele, according to Channels TV, will face a two count charge of possessing one single barrel shot gun (JOJEFF MAGNUM 8371) without licence, thus committing an offence contrary to Section 4 of the Firearms Cap F28 Laws of the Federation 2004 and punishable under Section 27 (1) (b) (i) of the same act.
He is also accused of having in his possession 123 rounds of live ammunition (catridges) without licence.
The offences were allegedly committed at No.3B Iru Close, Ikoyi, Lagos “on or about the 15th June, 2023”
Emefiele was arrested on June 10, 2023, the day after he was suspended by President Bola Tinubu.
Spokesman of DSS, Dr. Peter Afunanya, said on Thursday that the decision to charge Emefiele was in compliance with the court order.
The service had previously sought to arraign Emefiele for offences bordering on terrorism.
In February, it said preliminary investigation revealed various acts of terrorism financing, fraudulent activities perpetrated by Emefiele and his involvement in economic crimes of national security dimension.
The DSS had attempted to arrest Emefiele but a Federal High Court in Maitama, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja issued an order restraining the Service from arresting him.
This ruling, delivered by Justice M.A. Hassan, also applied to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) who were listed as defendants.
It was gathered yesterday that Emefiele is likely to be formally charged at the Federal High Court in Lagos next week.
Multiple sources said the DSS filed the charge yesterday and it now awaits the assignment of the case to a judge for hearing.
Suits at the Federal High Court are assigned by the Administrative Judge for each division of the court.
“The Admin Judge in Lagos will probably assign the case to a judge on Monday,” one of the sources said.
Again, Court voids Emefiele’s arrest, detention, orders immediate release
In voiding Emefiele’s arrest yesterday, the Apo, Abuja FCT High Court declared that his arrest, detention and interrogation violated the subsisting judgment and orders of Justice M. A. Hassan in Suit No. FCT/HC/GAR/CV/41/2022.
Justice Bello Kawu also granted Emefiele’s prayer that the Court make an order setting aside, voiding, quashing, invalidating, and nullifying any warrant of arrest obtained or procured by the respondents, especially the DSS for his arrest, detention, and/or interrogation in connection with the allegations of terrorism financing, fraudulent practices, money laundering, round tripping, threat to national security before or from any court since the date of the judgment of Justice M. A. Hassan.
In addition, the Court granted an injunction restraining the respondents, particularly the DSS, from arresting, detaining, further detaining or proceeding against, breaching, or interfering with his personal liberty and freedom of movement or taking any other steps against him in connection with any allegations of terrorism financing, fraudulent practices, money laundering, round tripping, threat to national security before or from any court since the date of the judgment of Justice M. A. Hassan.
Also granted by the presiding judge was an order of injunction directing and mandating the respondents, particularly the DSS, to forthwith release and unfetter Emefiele from any arrest, detention, custody, interrogation concerning allegations of terrorism financing, fraudulent practices, money laundering, round-tripping, the threat to national security before or from any court because of the subsisting judgment of Justice M. A. Hassan.
Emefiele had in an Originating Motion on Notice against Incorporated Trustees of Forum for Accountability and Good Leadership, the Attorney General of the Federation, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Inspector General of Police, the DSS and the Central Bank of Nigeria, asked the court to set aside, quash, invalidate, and nullify his arrest and detention being illegal and a nullity given the subsisting judgment of Justice M. A. Hassan delivered on 29th December 2022.