Rights breach: EFCC to appeal N100m fine in favour of Emefiele

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has said it would appeal the judgment of a Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court, which awarded N100 million damages against it in favour of a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele over the breached of Emefiele’s rights that are enshrined in the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

Recall that the court in a judgment on Monday by Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, declared as illegal and unconstitutional, the prolonged detention of Emefiele in custody of security agencies, without trial.

The court said the Federal Government through its agencies, flagrantly breached Emefiele’s rights that are enshrined in the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

The court also restrained the Federal Government and its agents from re-arresting or detaining him again without an order of court.

The judgment followed a fundamental rights enforcement suit by Emefiele, challenging the propriety of his prolonged detention in custody of the Department of State Services, DSS and later EFCC.

He had among other things, asked the court to award him damages to the tune of N1billion.

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He was suspended from office by President Bola Tinubu had on June 9, and he was later arrested at his Lagos residence by DSS operatives.

Emefiele had since then, faced a two-count charge of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition before the Federal High Court in Lagos, as well as another corruption charge that FG entered against him before the Abuja High Court.

Emefiele was transferred to the EFCC which on November 28, 2023, charged him on a six-count charge of alleged involvement in procurement fraud.

Emefiele, who initially spent 151 days in custody of security agencies, was later granted bail to the tune of N300million and ordered to produce two sureties that the trial court stressed must be Abuja residents that have landed property within the Maitama District, the defendant could not perfect the conditions till December 23, when he was released from Kuje prison where he spent about 34 days.

Meanwhile, EFCC dissatisfied with the Monday judgment of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court awarding N100 million damages against to Emefiele, said the decision failed to take cognizance of the fact that the former CBN boss was held with a valid order of court.

Consequently, the commission said it would approach the Court of Appeal to set it aside.

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