Suspended former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, and the Federal Government are set for fresh legal battle today, as the Federal High Court in Lagos hears two fresh applications filed by both parties.

Emefiele had instituted a suit to halt his further prosecution over alleged illegal possession of firearms and ammunition by the Federal Government. He is also requesting the court to discharge him from all offences preferred against him by the Department of State Services (DSS). Emefiele filed an application before the court through his lawyers, led by Joseph Dauda (SAN), seeking the reliefs before Justice Nicholas Oweibo.

On its part, the Federal Government filed an application before the court on August 3, seeking leave to appeal against the July 25 order of vacation by Justice Oweibo, which granted Emefiele bail. The application was filed by the federal government through a Deputy Director, Public Prosecutions, Nkiru Jones-Nebo. The federal government also asked the court to stay execution of the order remanding Emefiele in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), and to make an order remanding him, instead, in the custody of the DSS.

In his application, Emefiele urged the court to put a stop to all ongoing proceedings related to the charges until the government complies with the court’s bail ruling issued on July 25, 2023. The banker’s move is sequel to what his counsel termed as “brazen disobedience” of court orders by the DSS.

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Emefiele further requested an order to prohibit the federal government from receiving any legal indulgence from the courts, unless it adheres to the bail conditions.

His legal team invoked Section 6(6)(a) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and pertinent sections of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, as well as the court’s inherent powers to file the application.

Justice Oweibo scheduled a hearing for today, to address the application filed by the federal government. Victor Opara (SAN), a member of Emefiele’s defence team, confirmed that the application submitted on Tuesday, had been served to the federal government. The application aims to enforce court orders, portraying the court as an authoritative entity, rather than a toothless bulldog.

Justice Oweibo, had, on July 25, admitted Emefiele to a N20 million bail on a two-count charge of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, and ordered his remand at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre, pending the fulfilment of his bail conditions. But the DSS rearrested the embattled bank chief after fighting off NCoS officials on the court’s premises.

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