EFCC Fails to Produce Ex-CBN Governor Emefiele as Court Orders Release or Bail Hearing
Emefiele's Detention Continues as EFCC Disputes Court Order
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) faced difficulties in presenting the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Maitama, as ordered by the court on November 2.
Justice Olukayode Adeniyi had instructed the anti-graft agency to either release Emefiele without conditions or bring him to court for bail consideration. However, during the recent court proceedings, Emefiele’s lawyer, Mr. Mathew Burkaa, informed the court that the EFCC had disregarded this order.
Burkaa stated, “My lord, they have flouted both orders, as today marks the 149th day of the Applicant being in custody. The Applicant is still in the custody of the 3rd and 4th Respondents, up to this moment.”
On the other hand, the EFCC’s representative, Mr. Farouk Abdullahi, acknowledged receiving the court order but disputed the claim that Emefiele had been in their custody for over 100 days. He clarified, “My lord, I do confirm that we received the order. It is, however, not correct that the Applicant has been in custody of the 3rd and 4th Respondent for over 100 days. He has only been in custody of the 3rd and 4th for only 7 days.”
Farouk also mentioned that they intended to respond to the processes but were unable to do so because the documents received were incomplete, particularly referring to exhibit E.
When questioned by the judge about whether the absence of exhibit E justified EFCC’s non-compliance with the court order, Farouk explained, “My lord, we thought that the order was that we either release him unconditionally or bring him to court so that his bail application will be heard. My lord, the 3rd Respondent is a law-abiding establishment that will never take orders of this court for granted.”
Before adjourning the case to November 8, Justice Adeniyi reiterated the court’s orders. He instructed the EFCC to either release Emefiele unconditionally or, as an alternative, present him in court on the next adjourned date for bail consideration.
Emefiele, who has been in detention since June 9, had approached the court to assert his fundamental human rights. In addition to seeking his immediate release from EFCC custody, he is also requesting damages of N5 million.