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Joseph Daudu (SAN), Task The Federal Government On Rule Of Law Over Emefiele’s Trial.

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Former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Joseph Daudu (SAN), human rights lawyers and a rights advocacy group, the Centre for Social Justice and Accountability (CSJA), have asked the federal government to strictly adhere to the principle of rule of law, fairness and justice in the handling of the case of the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.

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According to Daudu, President Bola Tinubu, a democracy advocate, will not support arbitrariness.

Barrister Maxwell Opara, Abdulazeez Tijani and Anthony Akpua of the CSJA said how the federal government handles the case would shape how international business communities and related interests relate with the new administration in Nigeria.

They spoke yesterday in reaction to the various court pronouncements on the government’s continued detention of Emefiele and his planned arraignment by the DSS on a charge filed before the Federal High Court in Lagos.

Daudu said: “I do not think that the president would like to start his administration with the organisations under him disobeying court orders.

“He (Tinubu) was at the forefront as a NADECO man to chastise military governments for disobeying court orders.

“Now that power is in his hands, we will see whether he, himself, will obey court orders,” the ex-NBA president said in reaction to Thursday’s judgment by Justice Hamza Muazu of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

On his part, Opara noted that from his experience, the DSS was creating the impression that it was above the country’s law.

He said he was not surprised about how the Emefiele case was being handled by the DSS because the secret police had made disrespect to the rule of law part of its life.

“Talking about the rule of law or tendering court’s judgment before the DSS irritates the agency’s management,” he urged the president to overhaul the agency.

Tijani said President Tinubu must prove and establish that he is a true Democrat and not a semi-democrat like some of his predecessors.

He argued that Emefiele was not charged to court for known criminal offences within the time allowed by law.

“For more than four months, the  DSS had sought to arrest Emefiele. Between that time and now, it ought to have completed its investigation. DSS cannot hide under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 to hold a Nigerian citizen till eternity because ACJA is inferior to the 1999 Constitution,” he said.

“The 1999 Constitution is specific and categorical on how long a Nigerian citizen should be held. It gave a maximum of 48 hours. That is the supreme law on the fundamental rights of the citizens and must be obeyed to the letter.

“That aspect of the Constitution does not permit an arm of the security agency to hold a Nigerian citizen down and unlawfully begin to fish for evidence, as in the instant matter, to charge him to court. That is not our law”, he said.

Akpua noted that the whole world was watching how the Federal government was handling the Emefiele case, with its capacity to shape how the country is viewed by international investors concerning the rule of law.

Emefiele was arrested on June 10, 2023, a day after he was suspended by President Tinubu, and is still being held in the custody of the DSS.

SOURCE.


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