In a significant legal development, the Federal High Court in Abuja has issued a compelling order for the immediate and unconditional release of the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, from the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
This groundbreaking ruling came on Thursday during a session presided over by Justice O. Adeniji, who passed the order in response to a motion ex parte presented by Mr. Emefiele’s legal team.
The lawsuit, identified as FCT/HC/CV/040/2023/M/122/2023, named the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Attorney General of the Federation, the EFCC, and its chairman, Ola Olukoyede, as defendants.
Justice Adeniji’s ruling was unequivocal, stating, “The third and fourth respondents are hereby ordered to unconditionally release the applicant from detention forthwith or, in the alternative, produce him in court on the date fixed for the hearing of the substantive motion on notice for the purpose of being admitted to bail by the court.”
Furthermore, the court set a date for the hearing of the substantive motion on notice, scheduling it for November 11, 2023. The court instructed that both the instant order and the Motion on Notice must be served on the respondents on Thursday, November 2, 2023.
This legal maneuver comes after an extended period of detention for Mr. Emefiele, who was arrested by the EFCC on October 27, immediately following his release from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS), where he had been held since June 10.
The former CBN governor’s troubles began when he was picked up by the DSS in June, shortly after President Bola Tinubu ordered his suspension, initiating a series of events that have since garnered significant attention and public interest.
Mr. Emefiele’s legal team, led by seasoned lawyers, had argued vigorously for his release, citing concerns about the legal process and the necessity for his unconditional release. The latest ruling by the Federal High Court represents a major development in his ongoing legal battle and paves the way for the next phase of the proceedings.
For now, Nigerians will be watching closely as the legal proceedings unfold and as Mr. Emefiele’s case continues to capture the nation’s attention.