The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory on Tuesday fixed July 13 for the ruling on the enforcement of a fundamental rights suit filed by the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.
Justice Hamza Muazu fixed the date after listening to submissions made by parties in the case.
Listed as 1st to 3rd respondents in the suit are the Attorney General of the Federation, the Director General of the State Security Service, and the State Security Service.
During the proceedings, counsel for the AGF, Tijjani Ghazali SAN, informed the court that the first respondent is challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the case brought before it by the applicant.
He said Emefiele’s arrest and detention by the DSS is an administrative decision of an arm of the executive and that the jurisdiction is determined by the relief sought by an applicant.
Besides, he contended that the allegation of unlawful detention is unfounded as the embattled CBN boss is being detained on the order of an FCT Chief Magistrate Court.
Consequently, he urged the court to dismiss the application.
On his part, the second and third respondents, represented by counsel I. Awo, informed the court that there was a subsisting order to detain the applicant and therefore urged the court to dismiss the application with costs.
However, counsel for Emefiele, Joseph Daudu, SAN, argued that the offences listed against Emefiele are state offences that could be entertained by the FCT High Court.
He contended that, contrary to the preliminary objection raised against the originating summons on notice by the respondents, the court has the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
Earlier on June 16, the court ordered the DG of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi, to grant the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, access to his lawyers and family.
Emefiele was arrested by the DSS on Saturday, hours after his suspension by President Bola Tinubu.
Justice Hamza Muazu of the FCT High Court made the order on Friday, even as he emphasised that access is a constitutional right of Emefiele.
The enrolled order dated June 16, 2023, read, “The lawyers of the applicant shall have access to the applicant immediately. And regularly at a reasonable time, pending the determination of the application.”
In his submission
The court order followed an application filed by Emefiele’s counsel, J.B. Saudi, SAN, who told the court that the DSS had failed to respond to previous letters requesting access to his client.
Both the counsel to the DSS and the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation requested an extension of time to file their responses to the originating motion.
The court granted the request and further adjourned the suit to Tuesday, June 20, 2023, for a hearing.