A Federal Capital Territory, High Court, Abuja, has ruled that the continued harassment of Godwin Emefiele, governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over trumped up allegations of terrorism and sundry offenses by Department of State Security (DSS), was illegal and constitutes a breach of his rights to personal liberty, dignity of human person.
The court also held that the harassment violated his rights to policy making powers freedom of thought, conscience and religion and movement as respectively provided and enshrined under the Constitution of the Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended) and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act and, therefore, unconstitutional and illegal.
The court consequently restrained DSS in particularly, from any continued harassment, arrest etc., of Emefiele over any trumped-up allegation, unless an order of a superior court was first obtained.
The plaintiff in the matter, Incorporated Trustees of Forum for Accountability and Good Leadership, had dragged the Attorney-General of the Federation, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, DSS, Inspector General of Police, IGP and CBN to court and prayed that they be stopped by the court from further harassing Emefiele.
Granting the request, trial judge, Justice M. A. Hassan, ordered: “That any form of invitation to Emefiele, the Governor of CBN in the exercise of his statutory powers, functions and duties and continuous threats by the 4th respondent (DSS) to surrender his powers to them over trumped up allegations of terrorism financing and fraudulent practices, etc., constitute a flagrant breach of his rights to personal liberty, dignity of human person, right to policy making powers, freedom of thought, conscience and religion and movement as respectively provided and enshrined under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended) and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement Act and, therefore, unconstitutional and illegal.
“That the 4th respondent (DSS) acted wrongfully and illegally in instigating the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria against Emefiele in respect of the exercise of his statutory duty relating to the issuance of monetary policies and directives in the interest of National security and economy.
“It is further ordered that the 4th respondent (DSS), their agents, servants, privies and all officers under their control and command are hereby restrained from instigating the arrest or arresting, interrogating and detaining Emefiele, the CBN governor in respect of any matter or policy decision on the economy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or for any connected purposes except by an order of a Superior Court.
Meanwhile, the court declined request for the award of N5million as cost against the DSS, EFCC and IGP.
Stop harassing Emefiele, N-Delta youths tell DSS
Meanwhile, the Niger Delta Ethnic Nationalities Youth Leaders Council, NDENYLC, has called on DSS to stop harassing Emefiele.
NDENYLC President-General, Terry Obieh, said: “We have discovered that since the implementation of cashless policy and change of naira notes, a policy that doesn’t go well with some political class they have ever since been looking for means to disrepute the hard working and dedicated Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele. This is the period the National Assembly has most invite him on this same issue with several attacks from other quarters.
“Niger Delta Youths, hereby, use this medium to call to caution these distractors and their sponsors and reiterate our unalloyed support on the CBN Governor based on his transformative policies.
“We entirely pass vote of confidence on him and he should be allowed to concentrate on the task ahead.”