An application to arrest and detain governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele by the Department of State Services (DSS) has been stopped by a federal High court sitting in Abuja. Justice John Tsoho, the Chief Judge of the High Court, in declining the motion ex parte, filed by an applicant in the absence of the respondent, said the secret police did not provide any concrete evidence to substantiate its claims that Emefiele was involved in terrorism financing and economic crimes.
According to the sources, the judge said he should have been taken into confidence if there was any evidence to back the allegations.
“The honourable judge also wondered why the name of the respondent was given simply as ‘Godwin Emefiele’ without a material disclosure that he is the same person as the CBN governor, a highly ranking public official who occupies an extremely sensitive position,” the source told The Cable.
The court also noted that an approval from the president must accompany such an application due to the implications on Nigerian economy should the CBN governor be arrested and detained.
There are suggestions that the bid to arrest Emefiele might be political given the impact the redesign of the naira and limit on cash withdrawals might have on vote-buying in the 2023 elections.
A number of politicians have complained that the naira redesign is targeted at them, but President Muhammadu Buhari has given his full backing to Emefiele over the policy.
On Monday, a group of civil society organisations raised the alarm that there was a plot to frame Emefiele for terrorism and remove him from office.