Emefiele: 60 lawyers commence contempt proceeding against DSS DG

…Over refusal to release him

Close to 60 legal practitioners have asked a Federal Capital Territory High Court, to commit the Department of State Services, DSS, Director General to prison for disobeying three separate court orders for the release of Godwin Emefiele.

The lawyers led by Mr. Maxwell Opara and Mr. Ahmed Tijani, are praying the court to commit the DSS to prison until purges itself of the contempt.

The lawyers said that the suit was based on the violation of different judgments and orders of court directing the DSS to release detained suspended Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele.

According to the lawyers in Form 48 and Form 49, which are committal proceedings, they are asking that the alleged contemnor be sent to prison.

3 different judges ordered his release

They said that by the judgments and orders of Justice M. A. Hassan, Justice Hamza Muazu and Justice Bello Kawu, the DSS Director -General should have since released Emefiele from detention.

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In an affidavit in support of the application, the lawyers averred that Justice Hassan restrained the respondents, particularly, the DSS from arresting, detaining, or interrogating Emefiele.

This was in connection with offences connected to terrorism financing, money laundering, round tripping and financial crimes of national security dimension.

They also averred that despite the clear and positive orders of the court, the DSS went ahead to arrest and detain Emefiele and had detained him for over a month while shopping for evidence, which did not exist.

Addressing newsmen after filing their processes, Opara said the group would pursue the matter to its logical conclusion and ensure that DSS DG was sent to prison.

He noted that would serve as a deterrent to other heads of security agencies that disobedience of court orders would no longer be tolerated.

Opara added that it was unfortunate that the DSS accused Emefiele of having committed heinous crimes against the state only for it to now file a charge of possession of a validly registered pump action rifle against him.

“Is it not clear enough to Nigerians that the DSS is persecuting Emefiele if after holding him for five weeks, they can only file a ridiculous charge of possessing a validly registered pump action gun.

“This clearly shows that the travail of Emefiele is more for political reasons than for any other,” he added.

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