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An Abuja federal high court has turned down an application by the Department of State Services, DSS, seeking to arrest and detain the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele.
The chief judge, Justice JT Tsoho, while declining the motion ex parte – filed in the absence of the respondent, said that the secret police lacked concrete evidence to prove its claims that Emefiele was involved in terrorism financing and economic crimes.
According to a source who spoke to TheCable, the judge noted that he should have been taken into confidence if there was any evidence to substantiate the allegations in the application.
“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 high-ranking public official who occupies an extremely sensitive position,” the source said.
The court noted such an application should have been accompanied by presidential approval because of the grave implications for the Nigerian economy if the CBN governor is arrested and detained.
There are speculations that the move to arrest the CBN boss may be politically motivated given the impact the naira redesign and limit on cash withdrawals may have on vote-buying in next year’s election.
Meanwhile, DSS has warned Nigerians against being used to “undermine” its investigations.
This was contained in a statement issued by DSS spokesperson, Peter Afunanya on Monday.
He said that the secret police will not be distracted by elements seeking to use propaganda to undermine its lawful investigations.
According to Afunanya, one of the duties of the DSS is the “investigation of matters of national security dimension. It has always discharged this responsibility in the overall interest of Nigerian citizens”.
The statement added, “As such, the Service will continue to disseminate actionable intelligence to the relevant authorities devoid of any sentiment,” the statement reads.
“While professionally discharging its mandate, the DSS pledges to remain focused and unbiased. It will not, by any means, succumb to propaganda, intimidation and the desperation of hirelings to undermine it.
“It will also not give room to the use of falsehood and deceit to misdirect public understanding and perceptions of issues of national importance.
“Given not to join issues, the Service warns those on a wild goose chase to be mindful of their actions. Similarly, it urges members of the public to disregard the vituperations and rantings of misguided elements and not allow themselves to be used as instruments of destabilisation.
“Notably, these elements should remember the famous axiom that ‘you will only deceive some people, some of the time, but not all people, all the time’.
“To put it succinctly, the Service will not be distracted by persons and/or groups from carrying out its duties to the Nation, citizens, and, President and Commander-in-Chief.”
Afunanya urged Nigerians to “avoid being used to thwart or undermine the Service and its lawful investigations as those who wish to act in the breach will be dealt with in accordance with the law”.