A renown legal practitioner, Femi Falana SAN, has declared that the Department of Security Service (DSS) does not need a court order to arrest the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, noting that the Service must concrete evidence against the CBN governor to effect arrest. Falana, therefore, insisted that the DSS should arrest Emefiele on his return to Nigeria after fleeing the country to evade arrest. The legal practitioner noted that the CBN governor does have constitutional immunity in the country.
Falana emphasised that the allegations against the CBN governor by the DSS is embarrassing.
He stated: “this can only happen in a Banana Republic where the governor of the apex bank would be accused of a grave offence of terrorism financing.
“Has the government considered the enormous implication of the effect of a wanted governor of the central bank on the economy?
“I am completely flabbergasted that the President of the country has not intervened; either to call the state security to order or to call Mr. Emefiele to return to the country or be fired.”
Falana noted that the CBN governor has not returned to the country since the allegations of terrorism financing against him by the DSS.
“I can say without any fear of contradiction that Mr Godwin Emefiele is not in Nigeria; he hasn’t returned to the country because he has been declared wanted by the state security services,” Falana said.
The DSS had sought court order in Abuja to arrest Emefiele on allegations of terrorism financing and economic crimes undermining national security. The presiding judge of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja, Justice Maryam Hassan, tuned down the request of the DSS.
The judge also restrained the DSS from arresting, inviting, or detaining Emefiele, noting that the allegation of terrorism was vindictive, callous, oppressive, void and of no effect.
Falana, however, pointed out: “these guys play on our collective intelligence because they know we are very forgetful. In 2014, his immediate predecessor, former Emir of Kano, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, was equally accused of terrorism financing.
“In the same way, he also travelled out of the country to attend a meeting with the governors of the central banks of West Africa in Niamey, Niger Republic.
“As soon as he landed in Lagos, he was arrested, his passport was seized.”
Falana noted that Sanusi won the case and the court awarded him N50 million compensation.