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Court Orders FG To Pay N100 Million To Ex-CBN Gov Emefiele For Unlawful Detention



In a landmark ruling, the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Maitama, has directed the Federal Government to compensate the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, with the sum of N100 million for violating his fundamental rights.

The judgment, delivered by Justice Olukayode Adeniyi on Monday, declared the prolonged detention of Emefiele by security agencies without trial as illegal and unconstitutional.

The court unequivocally stated that the Federal Government, through its agencies, flagrantly breached Emefiele’s rights enshrined in the 1999 Constitution. Justice Adeniyi, in delivering the verdict, not only condemned the actions leading to Emefiele’s detention but also issued a restraining order preventing the FG and its agents from re-arresting or detaining him without a court order.

This ruling stemmed from a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by the former CBN boss, challenging the legality of his extended detention by the Department of State Services (DSS). Emefiele sought justice and redress for the violation of his rights and, among other pleas, requested the court to award him damages amounting to N1 billion.

The sequence of events leading to Emefiele’s legal battle unfolded when President Bola Tinubu suspended him from his position as the head of the apex bank on June 9. Subsequently, DSS operatives arrested him at his Lagos residence. The former CBN governor faced charges of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition before the Federal High Court in Lagos and another corruption charge before the Abuja High Court.

Despite being granted bail to the tune of N300 million by the trial court, with specific conditions for sureties, Emefiele spent a total of 151 days in custody before his release from Kuje prison on December 23. The court’s decision serves as a pivotal moment, affirming the protection of individuals’ fundamental rights against unlawful and protracted detentions, ensuring justice for Mr. Godwin Emefiele.

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