Federal High Court Clears Suspended CBN Governor of Firearm Allegations
Suspended CBN Governor Emefiele Cleared of Firearm Charges by Federal High Court
In a significant legal development, the Federal High Court in Lagos has officially dismissed charges of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition that were lodged against Godwin Emefiele, the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This verdict was delivered on Thursday, marking a pivotal point in the ongoing legal proceedings.
Meanwhile, a separate legal proceeding involving Emefiele faced a delay. The planned arraignment of the former CBN Governor on a fresh 20-count charge was adjourned at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Maitama on the same day. The adjournment was attributed to the absence of one of the defendants implicated in the case.
As a result, Justice Muazu, presiding over the FCT High Court, set a new date for the continuation of the case: August 23.
Lagos High Court Ruling
The striking out of charges against Emefiele at the Federal High Court in Lagos, led by Justice Nicholas Oweibo, followed an application put forth by the Federal Government seeking the withdrawal of the charges. The oral application, made by Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) at the Federal Ministry of Justice, occurred on Tuesday.
Abubakar revealed that the application was prompted by newly emerging facts that demanded further investigation. Consequently, he requested the court’s approval for the withdrawal of charges.
However, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), Emefiele’s legal representative, contested the application, claiming that the government’s action contradicted the court’s directive to release Emefiele on bail. Daudu asserted that such an application ought to be presented in writing.
“We have an application that the government has flouted the court’s order. It says the respondent/defendant should be remanded at the Nigeria Correctional Service,” Daudu stated. He emphasized that withdrawal of charges requires a written submission.
It’s worth noting that Emefiele was granted bail in the amount of N20 million on July 25, after he was initially arraigned on charges of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
This development marks a significant turn in the legal proceedings involving Emefiele, and further updates are anticipated as the legal processes continue to unfold.