Barristers & Solicitors
Emefiele: Group asks DSS to obey court judgment

Legal activists under the aegis of the Lawyers in Defence of Human and Economic Rights, on Tuesday, praised the recent judgment of an Abuja High Court that barred the Department of State Services from inviting, arresting and detaining the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, on allegations of terrorism funding.

In a statement signed by their Deputy Coordinator, Agu Okwukwe, and obtained by The PUNCH on Tuesday, the lawyers expressed the conviction that the decision of the court will further deepen the fundamental human rights principle of the country.

They also warned the DSS and its leadership of the negative consequence of wilfully disobeying the court’s judgment.

The statement read, “We members of Lawyers in Defence of Human and Economic Rights are again encouraged that there is hope for Nigeria, its democracy and the justice sector.

“Our belief is hinged on the landmark judgment delivered by Justice M.A. Hassan, barring the DSS from inviting, arresting, detaining or charging the CBN Governor with any allegation of terrorism or fraudulent act.

“This judgment is laudable and recommended to all our revered justices because it showed courage in the face of possible harassment and intimidation.

“We, therefore, advise the DSS leadership not to disrespect this judgment as doing so may attract severe court sanctions and the outcome may affect the image of the service nationally and internationally.

“Government institutions must respect the judiciary whether the decisions are favourable to them or not.”

A Federal high court in Abuja last week restrained the State Security Service from arresting the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, over allegations of terrorism financing. The SSS had levelled the same allegation against him in another suit.

Ruling on the suit, the judge, M.A. Hassan, described the allegations of terrorism financing levelled against Mr Emefiele as trumped-up.

He also affirmed the applicant’s claim that the SSS was instigating President Muhammadu Buhari “in respect of the exercise of his statutory duty relating to the issuance of monetary policies and directives in the interest of national security and economy.”