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Bail: Ex-CBN Gov, Emefiele Arrives Home After 151 Days In Detention




A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, sitting at Maitama, has ordered release of Emefiele from detention, despite objections from both the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. 

Detained former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, yesterday arrived his Abuja home, after being released on bail by an Abuja High Court.

He has spent 151 days in the custody of security agencies.

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, sitting at Maitama, has ordered his release from detention, despite objections from both the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The court, in the ruling delivered by Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, directed that the embattled former CBN governor be released to his lawyers, though it ordered him to surrender all his international travelling documents.

“There must be an end to detention without trial” the judge held, noting that the court had in an earlier ruling it delivered on November 2, ordered the anti-graft agency to either release the Applicant unconditionally or produce him for his bail request to be considered.

According to Justice Adeniyi, it was owing to EFCC’s refusal to comply with the first leg of the order that led to the production of Emefiele before the court on Wednesday.

The court said it could not allow the Applicant to remain in custody based on the claim by the Federal Government that he was already scheduled for arraignment before another court on November 15.

It held that the claim was speculative as there was nothing to establish that the planned arraignment would hold as scheduled.

More so, the court noted that a purported remand order that FG’s lawyer, Mr. Oyin Koleoso, tendered before it, signed by an Abuja Chief Magistrate, which gave the permission for Emefiele to be remanded for a period of 14 days, bore conflicting dates-   April 26 and October 27, 2023.

“A very crucial fact that this court cannot overlook is the Applicant’s claim that he has been incarcerated for a period of upward of 151 days without trial,” Justice Adeniyi added.

He held that section 298(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015, empowered the court to make necessary orders, even when there is a remand order against an Applicant.

“The order of this court made on November 2 is already very clear. The exercise today is due to the 3rd and 4th Respondents’ refusal to abide by the order of this court to release the Applicant unconditionally,” the judge held.

Consequently, he directed that Emefiele should be released to a team of three Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SANs, that represented him in the matter, adding that they should produce him in court on the day of his planned arraignment or at any other date that he is required to appear in court.

Justice Adeniyi directed Emefiele to surrender all his international documents to the most senior Registrar of the court, pending his arraignment. He subsequently adjourned further proceedings in the case till November 17.

The ruling followed a fundamental right enforcement suit that the erstwhile CBN boss, who has been in detention for about five months, filed through his team of lawyers led by Mr. Matthew Burkaa, SAN.

Cited as Respondents in the suit marked: FCT/HC/CV/040/2023, are; the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, as well as the anti-graft agency itself.

Meanwhile, Emefiele, who was brought before the high court on Wednesday by armed security operatives attached to the EFCC, had in the course of the proceeding, told the court that he had yet to receive a copy of the fresh charge against him.

His lawyer,  Burkaa, SAN, had while urging he court not to deny him bail on the basis of the preliminary objection and affidavit of fact that was filed by the AGF, maintained that they were yet to receive a copy of the charge.

“My lord, even as at this moment, they have not served my client with the charge they claimed has been filed against him.

“The submission that his release on bail will impede his arraignment is highly speculative.  There is nothing suggesting that the Applicant is a flight risk or that he had at any time made himself unavailable for trial.”

“My lord, let the Applicant breath!  The fact is that the state loses nothing by releasing the Applicant to bail,”he pleaded.

Turning to Emefiele who was sitting in the gallery, Justice Adeniyi said: “Let us hear from the Applicant if he has been served.  Applicant, have you been served,” the judge queried Emefiele.

Responding, the frail-looking ex-CBN governor, said: “My lord, I don’t have any charge.”

Amid fears that he would be re-arrested by security operatives, Emefiele left the court premises in a Jeep brought by one of his lawyers, shortly after the proceeding ended.

It will be recalled that President Bola Tinubu had on June 9, suspended Emefiele from office as the head of the apex bank.

He was later arrested at his Lagos residence by the Department of State Services, DSS.

Emefiele had since then, faced a two-count charge of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition before the Federal High Court in Lagos, as well as a 20-count corruption charge the federal government entered against him and two others before an Abuja High Court sitting at Maitama.

However, proceedings in both cases were put on hold, following the decision of the Defendants to explore a plea bargain deal with FG.

The former CBN boss was later transferred to the EFCC detention facility on October 26 by the DSS.


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BREAKING NEWS: PDP’s Diri Wins Bayelsa Gov Election



The incumbent Governor of Bayelsa State and governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Douye Diri, has been declared the winner of the State governorship election held last Saturday.

The Returning Officer, Prof Faruq Kuta, who is also the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University Of Technology, Minna, announced Diri winner of the poll at the collation centre of the election on Monday.

Diri polled 175,196 to defeat his closest rival, Timipre Sylva of the All Progressives Congress, who garnered 110,108 votes while the Labour Party polled 905 votes.

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Plateau: Protesters Storm S’ Court Over Sack Of Four PDP Members From NASS



Over 1000 protesters, on Monday, besieged the Supreme Court to register their displeasure over the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which sacked four members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Plateau State, from the National Assembly, based on a pre-election dispute.

The placard and banner-wielding groups, under the aegis of Coalition for Justice in Africa, CJA, submitted a protest letter to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola.

According to the protesters, the appellate court, by its judgement, thwarted the wish of electorates in Plateau state, when it declared candidates that lost the National Assembly elections that held on February 25, as winners of the legislative seats.

Speaking with newsmen shortly after the protest letter was submitted to the CJN, the National President of the CJA, Dr. Daniel Okwa, maintained that the judgement of the appellate court was capable of causing a breakdown of law and order in the state.

He said the group was at the apex court to seek the intervention of the CJN, alleging that the verdicts that removed all the PDP federal lawmakers were influenced by some chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

The protest letter, which was obtained by Vanguard, read in part: “The Coalition for Truth and Justice believes that the judgment of the Appeal Court in Abuja is a case of injustice, else, how could one explain a situation where lawmakers of the All Progressive Congress (APC) would boast and predict the outcome of the Court of Appeal judgment even before the pronouncement.

“This is unacceptable and indicates that the justice regime in Nigeria has been thrown to the dogs. What happened in Plateau State is an aberration of immeasurable proportion. There is a distinction between a pre-election matter and a post-election matter.

“The Supreme Court has established this fact on several occasions. It is now a wonder why the Appeal Court would act otherwise and in a despicable manner that tends to truncate our nascent democracy.

“The Coalition for Truth and Justice entirely condemns the actions of the justices of the Appeal Court that sat in Abuja. They displayed insensitivity to the electoral choices of the people. This is a worrisome trend that the Chief Justice of Nigeria must address.

“This is on the heels that the Judiciary, the world over, is regarded as the last hope of the commoner. This presupposes that it is the only place the commoner can get justice. The function of the Judiciary is not to twist the truth or fabricate facts but to interpret the law. The consequence of the interpretation of the law is justice.

“However, what played out in Plateau state negates the Judiciary’s position as the common’s last hope. The Judiciary is for sale to the highest bidder in Nigeria, if such positions could be taken without recourse to the implication of such on the psychological state of the people.

“The Coalition for Truth and Justice is using this protest to drive the point that justice in Nigeria should not be reserved for a section of the country or any political party. What happened in Plateau should not be allowed to stand or repeat itself. The implication of such is that the reputation of the judicial arm of government would be eroded.”

It will be recalled that the appellate court had on November 7, in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel led by Justice Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu, okayed the nullification of the election of a Senator and three members of the House of Representatives in the state that emerged on the platform of the PDP.

The panel based its decision on failure of the PDP to fully comply with a court that was made in 2022, which it said directed the party to conduct congress in the 17 Local Government Areas in the state.

It, therefore, held that though the lawmakers won their respective seats during the National Assembly election that held on February 25, all the scores that were credited them, amounted to wasted votes.

It ordered that candidates that got the second majority lawful votes at the election, should be sworn in as winners of the legislative seats.


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Canada’s Abuja, Lagos Visa Centres Open – High Commission



The Canadian High Commission in Nigeria has said its Abuja and Lagos visa application centres remain open for the processing of immigration, refugee and citizenship applications.

The Canadian High Commission had on Tuesday announced the suspension of operations in its Abuja office following a fire incident at its generator house, which claimed two lives on Monday.

Nigerians had expressed fear that the operations suspension would hamper visa application processes.

But  in a statement posted on its X handle on Thursday, the  Canadian High Commission clarified that its Abuja and Lagos visa application centres remain open and operational.

In the statement by its public affairs staff, Demilade Kosemani, the commission said, “As we continue to mourn the passing of our dear colleague from the High Commission of Canada in Abuja, please note the following information below:

“Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada clients: processing of applications continues. Regardless of the suspension of operations at the High Commission of Canada in Abuja, the Visa Application Centres in Abuja and Lagos remain open.”

Meanwhile, a travel agency, , TMT Travels and Tours Limited, has sympathised with the Canadian High Commission over the Monday tragic fire incident.

In a statement on Thursday the agency’s Chief Executive Officer, Collins Onukwubiri,  said, “We at TMT Travels and Tours Limited shares in the grief and sense of loss of the Canadian embassy in Abuja. The partial burning of the Canadian embassy in Abuja and the death of two workers there was most unfortunate.

“Canada, as a major player in the Nigeria’s travel and tours business, is an integral player in Nigeria’s economy. We know how devastating this unfortunate incident is to them but we want to say that we stand with them in this time and always. We specially condole with the families of the two persons who died in the process.”


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