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Emefiele Facing Gun, Ammunition Possession Charges

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The suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele is likely to face charges of illegal possession of gun and live ammunition, Channels Television reported last night.

His trial is scheduled for Lagos next week.

The Department of State Services (DSS) had said on Thursday that it had charged Emefiele to court but gave no details of the charges.

However, a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, sitting at Apo, Abuja, yesterday voided his arrest and detention.

This came 24 hours after a separate FCT High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja had ordered the DSS to charge Emefiele to court within seven days or release him.

Emefiele, according to Channels TV, will face a two count charge of possessing one single barrel shot gun (JOJEFF MAGNUM 8371) without licence, thus committing an offence contrary to Section 4 of the Firearms Cap F28 Laws of the Federation 2004 and punishable under Section 27 (1) (b) (i) of the same act.

He is also accused of having in his possession 123 rounds of live ammunition (catridges) without licence.

The offences were allegedly committed at No.3B Iru Close, Ikoyi, Lagos “on or about the 15th June, 2023”

Emefiele was arrested on June 10, 2023, the day after he was suspended by President Bola Tinubu.

Spokesman of DSS, Dr. Peter Afunanya, said on Thursday that the decision to charge Emefiele was in compliance with the court order.

The service had previously sought to arraign Emefiele for offences bordering on terrorism.

In February, it said preliminary investigation revealed various acts of terrorism financing, fraudulent activities perpetrated by Emefiele and his involvement in economic crimes of national security dimension.

The DSS had attempted to arrest Emefiele but a Federal High Court in Maitama, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja issued an order restraining the Service from arresting him.

This ruling, delivered by Justice M.A. Hassan, also applied to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) who were listed as defendants.

The Nation gathered yesterday that Emefiele is likely to be formally charged at the Federal High Court in Lagos next week.

Multiple sources said the DSS filed the charge yesterday and it now awaits the assignment of the case to a judge for hearing.

Suits at the Federal High Court are assigned by the Administrative Judge for each division of the court.

“The Admin Judge in Lagos will probably assign the case to a judge on Monday,” one of the sources said.

Again, Court voids Emefiele’s arrest, detention, orders immediate release

In voiding Emefiele’s arrest yesterday, the Apo, Abuja FCT High Court declared that his arrest, detention and interrogation violated the subsisting judgment and orders of Justice M. A. Hassan in Suit No. FCT/HC/GAR/CV/41/2022.

Justice Bello Kawu also granted Emefiele’s prayer that the Court make an order setting aside, voiding, quashing, invalidating, and nullifying any warrant of arrest obtained or procured by the respondents, especially the DSS for his arrest, detention, and/or interrogation in connection with the allegations of terrorism financing, fraudulent practices, money laundering, round tripping, threat to national security before or from any court since the date of the judgment of Justice M. A. Hassan.

 

In addition, the Court granted an injunction restraining the respondents, particularly the DSS, from arresting, detaining, further detaining or proceeding against, breaching, or interfering with his personal liberty and freedom of movement or taking any other steps against him in connection with any allegations of terrorism financing, fraudulent practices, money laundering, round tripping, threat to national security before or from any court since the date of the judgment of Justice M. A. Hassan.

Also granted by the presiding judge was an order of injunction directing and mandating the respondents, particularly the DSS, to forthwith release and unfetter Emefiele from any arrest, detention, custody, interrogation concerning allegations of terrorism financing, fraudulent practices, money laundering, round-tripping, the threat to national security before or from any court because of the subsisting judgment of Justice M. A. Hassan.

Emefiele had in an Originating Motion on Notice against Incorporated Trustees of Forum for Accountability and Good Leadership, the Attorney General of the Federation, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Inspector General of Police, the DSS and the Central Bank of Nigeria, asked the court to set aside, quash, invalidate, and nullify his arrest and detention being illegal and a nullity given the subsisting judgment of Justice M. A. Hassan delivered on 29th December 2022.

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Fagbemi warns against obstructing EFCC from performing its lawful duty

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The Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN has warned against obstructing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from carrying out its lawful duty .

Fagbemi’s warning is contained in a statement in Abuja.

“This is a matter of very grave concern, it is now beyond doubt that the EFCC is given power by the law to invite any person of interest to interact with them in the course of their investigations into any matter, regardless of status.

“Therefore, the least that we can all do when invited, is not to put any obstruction in the way of EFCC, but to honourably answer their invitation.

“A situation where public officials who are themselves subject of protection by law enforcement agents will set up a stratagem of obstruction to the civil and commendable efforts of the EFCC to perform its duty is to say the least, insufferably disquieting’’.

He added that running away from the law will not resolve issues at stake but only exacerbate them.

“Nigeria has a vibrant judicial system that is capable of protecting everyone who follows the rule of law in seeking protection.

“I therefore encourage anyone who has been invited by the EFCC or any other agency to immediately toe the path of decency and civility by honouring such invitation instead of embarking on a temporising self-help and escapism.

 

“This can only put our country in bad light before the rest of the world’’.

He said institutions of state should be allowed to function effectively and efficiently.

“I stand for the rule of law and will promptly call EFCC, and indeed any other agency to order when there is an indication of any transgressions of the fundamental rights of any Nigerian by any of the agencies’’.

NAN reports that the EFCC had on Wednesday warned members of the public that it was a criminal offence to obstruct officers of the Commission from carrying out their lawful duties.

Section 38(2)(a(b) of the EFCC Establishment Act makes it an offence to prevent officers of the Commission from carrying out their lawful duties. Culprits risk a jail term of not less than five years.

The warning , the EFCC said, became necessary against the background of the increasing tendency by persons and groups under investigation by the Commission to take the laws into their hands by recruiting thugs to obstruct lawful operations of the EFCC.

On several occasions, the anti graft agency said, operatives of the Commission have had to exercise utmost restraint in the face of such provocation to avoid a breakdown of law and order.

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Unknown Gunmen Abduct Channelstv Reporter In Port-harcourt

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Some unknown gunmen have kidnapped Joshua Rogers, the ChannelsTV reporter in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

Politics Nigeria learnt that Rogers was picked up close to his residence at Rumuosi in Port Harcourt and to an unknown destination by the gunmen around 9pm on Thursday, April 11.

The reporter was driving his official ChannelsTV branded car when the hoodlums accosted, pointed a gun at him and took him away in the same vehicle.

 

Rogers was said to be returning from his official assignment in Government House after a trip to Andoni for a government event when the incident happened.

Already, the gunmen were said to have contacted his wife and demanded a N30million ransom for bis release.

His cameraman confirmed the incident and appealed to his abductors to set him free unconditionally.

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