The previously detained Former CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has returned to his Abuja residence after an Abuja High Court granted him bail. Despite objections from both the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, in his ruling at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Maitama, ordered Emefiele’s release.

    The judge emphasized the need to end prolonged detention without trial, citing the previous court order demanding the applicant’s unconditional release or production for bail consideration. Noting the EFCC’s non-compliance, the court ordered Emefiele’s release to his legal representatives, with the condition of surrendering all international travel documents. The court dismissed the government’s speculative claim of an upcoming arraignment, emphasizing the lack of concrete evidence to support the alleged scheduled court appearance on November 15.

    Former CBN Governor

    Furthermore, the court observed discrepancies within the remand order presented by the Federal Government’s lawyer, Mr. Oyin Koleoso. The document, purportedly signed by an Abuja Chief Magistrate, contained conflicting dates of April 26 and October 27, 2023, raising concerns about its validity and accuracy.

    Justice Adeniyi underscored the pivotal fact that the applicant had been detained for a duration exceeding 151 days without undergoing a trial. Citing section 298(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015, the judge asserted the court’s authority to issue necessary orders, even in the presence of a remand order against the applicant.

    Highlighting the non-compliance of the third and fourth respondents with the court’s earlier order to release the applicant unconditionally, Justice Adeniyi emphasized the need to enforce the court’s directives. Consequently, he directed the release of Emefiele to a team of three Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) representing him, with a stipulation for their appearance in court on the scheduled arraignment date or any subsequent court appearance.

    In anticipation of his arraignment, Justice Adeniyi ordered Emefiele to turn over all of his foreign paperwork to the court’s senior Registrar. He then postponed the case’s ongoing proceedings until November 17.

    The former CBN boss, who has been detained for approximately five months, filed a fundamental right enforcement complaint through his legal team, which was directed by Mr. Matthew Burkaa, SAN, and the verdict came after that.

    The Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the anti-graft agency itself are listed as Respondents in the lawsuit with the filing number FCT/HC/CV/040/2023.

    Emefiele informed the court during the hearing that he had not yet received a copy of the new charge against him. Emefiele was hauled before the high court on Wednesday by armed security agents affiliated with the EFCC.

    While pleading with the court not to refuse him bail based on the preliminary objection and affidavit of fact filed by the AGF, his attorney, Burkaa, SAN, insisted that they had not yet received a copy of the charge.

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