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Court Protects CBN Governor Over DSS Arrest

A federal high court sitting in Abuja has declined an application by the Department of State Services (DSS) to arrest and detain Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The chief judge, said the secret police did not provide any concrete evidence to substantiate its claims that Emefiele was involved in terrorism financing and economic crimes.

“The honourable judge also wondered why the name of the respondent was given simply as ‘Godwin Emefiele’ without a material disclosure that he is the same person as the CBN governor, a highly ranking public official who occupies an extremely sensitive position,” the source stated. The court said such an application should have been accompanied with the presidential approval because of the grave implications for the Nigerian economy if the CBN governor is arrested and detained.

There are suggestions that the bid to arrest Emefiele might be political given the impact the redesign of the naira and limit on cash withdrawals might have on vote-buying in the 2023 elections. A number of politicians have complained that the naira redesign is targeted at them but President Muhammadu Buharhas given his full backing to Emefiele over the policy. The DSS, has issued a statement warning that it would not succumb to propaganda and intimidation in the wake of a report that the agency was allegedly planning to frame and arrest the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

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