Emefiele to be arraigned today amidst fears of his rearrest


There is palpable fear that the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, would be rearrested today, when he appears before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory.

Emefiele, who had spent over five months in custody was released last week unconditionally by the orders of Justice Olukayode Adeniyi.

The Federal Goverment had opposed the bail application argued by Emefiele’s lawyer on the grounds that the former CBN boss had a pending charge before Justice Hamza Muazu of the same FCT High Court, but Justice Adeniyi had ruled that the issue before him was not Emefiele’s bail application but the order of the court on his unconditional release.

Although, the arraignment before Justice Muazu was stalled on Wednesday due to the labour strike, however, information had it that the Economic and Financial Crime Commission has concluded plans to rearrest Emefiele, at today’s arraignment.

According to a source, Emefiele may be rearrested on yet to be ascertained charges when he appears in court today.

Emefiele was first arrested in Lagos on June 10, a day after President Bola Tinubu suspended him from office and was then transferred to Abuja.

The Department of State Services, which initially arrested him, had refused to release him on bail despite the order of Justice Muazu.

He was later arraigned on alleged unlawful possession of firearms in Lagos then alleged corruption charges in Abuja, before he was handed over to the EFCC three weeks ago.

Miffed by the DSS’ action, Emefiele then approached the court to challenge his continued detention.

Besides he had brought an ex parte application praying the court for his unconditional release pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

After listening to the submissions in the ex parte application marked: M/122/2023 in a Motion on Notice with the number, FCT/HC/CV/040/2023, Justice Adeniyi on November 2, subsequently ordered the EFCC to immediately release Emefiele or produce him in court on November 6.

The Commission however failed to produce him in court on the next adjourned date, forcing the court to adjourn to November 8, insisting that its orders must be complied with.

Delivering ruling on November 8, the judge had ordered the immediate and unconditional release of Emefiele, adding that, “there must be an end to detention without trial.”

The court held that although the Federal Goverment had stated that Emefiele would appear in court next week over a pending corruption charge, there was no evidence before it to assure that he would be arraigned on the said date.

Justice Adeniyi had pointed out that, “the issue is not that the court should admit the applicant to bail” but the enforcement of the court’s order of unconditional release made on November 2.

Besides, the court had observed that releasing Emefiele would not stop his arraignment by the Federal Goverment.

He subsequently ordered the Federal Goverment to release Emefiele to his team of lawyers led by Mathew Burkaa, who must produce him in court for arraignment on November 15, or any other date.

The judge had also ordered that Emefiele should transmit and deposit his travel documents to the court’s registrar pending the hearing of the motion on notice or his arraignment before Justice Hamza Muazu of the same FCT High Court.

Emefiele spent 151 days in custody before his release last week.