A lawyer, Mr. Peter Abang, has petitioned the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, over the failed attempt by the Department of State Services (DSS) to get a court backing for the arrest and prosecution of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, based on trumped up charges bordering on terrorism financing.
Abang, in the petition, specifically asked the AGF to commence criminal inquiry, arrest and prosecution of all persons and personnel of the service involved in the thwarted plot to frame up Emefiele for terrorism financing.In the petition dated December 30th, 2022, and addressed to the AGF, the lawyer sought a full scale criminal inquiry into the circumstance leading to the failed attempt by the State Security Services (otherwise known as DSS) to frame the CBN Governor on allegations and trumped up terrorism financing charges as well as other sundry offences.
The petition read, “We also request that your offices conduct a thorough investigation and ultimately arrest and prosecute all persons and/or parties connected to the failed rogue operation in the overall interest of Nigeria.“Note that this letter serves as a notice to commence an action for mandamus to compel your offices to arrest and prosecute all persons and/or parties who are connected in the event that you fail at accede to our request within seven days from the date of service of this letter to you.”
Chief Judge of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Justice John Tsoho, had on December 9 declined to grant an ex parte application by the DSS on the grounds that sufficient evidence indicting Emefiele of wrong doing was not produced to compel the court to issue an order for the CBN governor’s arrest.Justice M. A. Hassan of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on his part, had restrained the security agency from harassing, arresting, intimidating Emefiele over what he described as baseless and oppressive charges.
Ruling in the DSS’ motion filed by one U.S. Gambarawa, the CJ had held, “Upon perusal of the documents that constitute the applicant’s Motion Ex parte dated and filed on 7/12/2022, I am constrained to make the following vital observations: 1, The entire affidavit depositions, especially as per paragraph 4 of the supporting affidavit, purport that preliminary investigation has revealed various acts of Terrorism Financing, fraudulent activities perpetrated by the Respondent and his involvement in economic crimes of national security dimension.
“These are no doubt, grave allegations, but which the applicant has not presented any concrete evidence to support. The applicant should have taken the court into confidence while seeking the exercise of its discretion in favour of granting the application.“It is my respectful opinion that the ipse dixit of the application standing on its own, is not sufficient evidence upon which to deprive a person of his liberty.”In a related ruling, Hassan on December 29, 2022, restrained the DSS and four others from arresting or detaining Emefiele over alleged trumped up charges bordering on terrorism financing.
Delivering judgment in a suit marked FCT/HC/CV/GAR/41/2022, filed by the Incorporated Trustees of Forum for Accountability and Good Leadership, the judge had held that the DSS, “acted wrongfully and illegally in instigating President Muhammadu Buhari against Mr. Godwin Emefile in respect of the exercise of his statutory duty relating to the issuance of monetary policies and directives in the interest of the National Security and economy.”
Meanwhile, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on National Planning, Hon. Saka Cook Abdulganiyu Olododo, at the weekend called on the Emefiele to embark on more aggressive advocacy on the withdrawal limits policy of the central bank. He said this would go a long way in assisting bank customers, especially those in the rural areas to have more insight on the advantages and benefits of the policy.Olododo, who represents Ilorin East/Ilorin South federal constituency of Kwara State at the National Assembly, made the call in Ilorin, while speaking with journalists on the state of the nation.
He said, “There is no doubt that there is not enough advocacy on the policy and that is the area where we are now. There must be an aggressive enlightenment on the policy for all and sundry at least for a month.
“Even, in advanced countries of the world. Take for example in UK, the Queen Elizabeth of England died recently and if you see the logo of the UK currency now, the government has started changing it gradually with the new PM Charles and the UK government did not say they should phase out the one with the Queen and this can be going alongside each other.“For at least for six months now or one year, the CBN can embark on the gradual implementation of the policy and that is the area I want the CBN to look into now.”
While describing the policy as good, Olododo said the CBN must look into those that didn’t have access to banks and even Point of Sale (PoS) and they have to keep their monies and they must be captured so as to make the economy buoyant for all and sundry.
“Let me tell you that there is no any change that doesn’t bring its own difficulties. But we have to understand that the timing of the policy is the only problem, but we must know that it is the CBN’s responsibility to do such policy for the nation so as to advance the socio-economic growth of the populace.”On the forthcoming election, the lawmaker who is seeking reelection under the Social Democratic Party (SDP), said his new party had formidable structure to defeat any political party during the polls
He said his sterling representation during his first term at the National Assembly would serve as basis to win the forthcoming general elections in Ilorin East/Ilorin South federal constituency of the state.Olododo said he remained the candidate to beat during polls in view of his past quality representation at the lower chamber pledging more dividends of democracy to the people of the constituency if given chance to represent the area during the forthcoming general elections.