60 lawyers file lawsuit against SSS for refusing to release Emefiele

60 lawyers file lawsuit against SSS for refusing to release Emefiele

A group of 60 legal practitioners has taken legal action against the State Security Services (SSS) for disregarding multiple court orders to release former Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele.

The lawyers seek to commence committal proceedings, urging the court to hold the SSS in contempt and demand Emefiele’s immediate release.

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The group of lawyers, led by Mr. Maxwell Opara and Mr. Ahmed Tijani, approached the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory to address the SSS’s failure to release Mr. Emefiele, which they claim is a violation of various court judgments and orders.

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They filed a motion seeking the issuance of Form 48 and Form 49, which are necessary to initiate proceedings to commit the SSS to prison.

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According to the lawyers, Justices M. A. Hassan, Hamza Muazu, and Bello Kawu had issued judgments and orders directing the SSS Director-General to release Mr. Emefiele from detention.

In an affidavit supporting their application, the lawyers emphasized that Justice Hassan specifically restrained the SSS from arresting, detaining, or interrogating Mr. Emefiele in connection with offenses related to terrorism financing, money laundering, round-tripping, and national security financial crimes.

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After filing their legal documents, Mr. Opara addressed the media, expressing the lawyers’ determination to see the case through to its conclusion and ensure the accountability of the SSS.

They vowed to ensure the imprisonment of the Director-General, Mr. Bichi, to serve as deterrent to other security agency heads who may consider disregarding court orders.

Mr. Opara highlighted the absurdity of the SSS accusing Mr. Emefiele of heinous crimes against the state, only to subsequently charge him with possessing a legally registered pump-action rifle.

He claimed that this demonstrates the political motivations behind Mr. Emefiele’s ordeal, emphasizing the need for justice to prevail over such actions.

The lawyers assert that the SSS’s actions violate the principles of the rule of law and undermine the credibility of the judicial system. They are resolved to ensure that the court’s orders are respected, and individuals responsible for flouting those orders are held accountable.

The refusal of security agencies to comply with court orders raises serious concerns about the erosion of the rule of law in Nigeria. The actions of the SSS in detaining Mr. Emefiele, despite court orders to release him, set a dangerous precedent that undermines the trust citizens place in the justice system.

This case also sheds light on the broader issue of political persecution, as highlighted by Mr. Opara. If the detention of Mr. Emefiele is indeed politically motivated, it represents a threat to the independence of the judiciary and raises questions about the government’s commitment to upholding the rule of law.

Ensuring that court orders are respected and adhered to is crucial for maintaining a just and democratic society. It is essential that security agencies and government institutions act in accordance with the law, as failure to do so undermines public confidence and weakens the foundations of democracy.


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