SSS dragged to court over alleged refusal to release Emefiele


A group of 60 legal practitioners has taken a significant step by approaching the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory to initiate committal proceedings against the State Security Service (SSS). The lawyers allege that the SSS has violated multiple judgments and orders of the court pertaining to the release of former Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

Led by Maxwell Opara and Ahmed Tijani, the lawyers have filed a motion before the court requesting the issuance of Form 48 and Form 49, which are the forms used to initiate proceedings to commit a contemnor to prison. They argue that based on the judgments and orders issued by Justice M. A. Hassan, Justice Hamza Muazu, and Justice Bello Kawu, the SSS Director-General should have released Mr. Emefiele from detention.

In their affidavit supporting the application, the lawyers state that Justice Hassan had restrained the respondents, particularly the DSS, from arresting, detaining, or interrogating Emefiele in relation to offenses connected to terrorism financing, money laundering, round tripping, and financial crimes of national security dimension.

Despite the clear and unequivocal orders of the court, the lawyers contend that the SSS proceeded to arrest and detain Mr. Emefiele, keeping him in detention for over a month while searching for evidence that did not exist.

Speaking to the media after filing their processes, Mr. Opara emphasized that the group would pursue the matter to its logical conclusion and ensure that the Director-General of the SSS, Yusuf Bichi, is sent to prison. The objective is to send a strong message and serve as a deterrent to other heads of security agencies that disobedience of court orders will no longer be tolerated.

Mr. Opara also expressed his disbelief at the accusations made by the DSS against Mr. Emefiele, highlighting the fact that they initially accused him of heinous crimes against the state, only to later file a charge of possession of a validly registered pump-action rifle. He sees this as clear evidence that Mr. Emefiele’s ordeal is politically motivated rather than based on any legitimate grounds.

The legal practitioners are determined to uphold the rule of law and ensure that court orders are respected, thereby seeking justice for their client, Mr. Emefiele.

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