By Charles Igwe
Suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, was re-arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) on Tuesday, 25 July, after a confrontation with officials from the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS).
The re-arrest occurred within the premises of the Federal High Court in Lagos, despite Justice Nicholas Oweibo granting bail to Emefiele upon hearing the submissions of his counsel, Joseph Daudu (SAN). The court had ordered that Emefiele be moved from DSS custody to a correctional center until his bail conditions were met.
Prior to the re-arrest, Emefiele’s legal team had expressed concerns about the DSS’s intention to re-arrest their client, even after the court had granted bail.
During the incident, a dispute arose between the DSS operatives and prison officials over the custody of Emefiele. Eventually, the DSS reportedly took Emefiele out of the courtroom and placed him in their waiting vehicle, while the prison officials left in their own vehicle.
Earlier, Emefiele had pleaded not guilty to charges of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition filed against him by the Federal Government. His lawyer, Joseph Daudu, urged the court to grant bail, either on self-recognizance or under liberal conditions, until the trial was heard and determined. Daudu emphasized that Emefiele was a respected banker and posed no flight risk.
Despite these arguments, the confrontation and subsequent re-arrest have added complexity to the ongoing legal situation surrounding the suspended CBN governor.