The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, has declined an application by the Department of State Services (DSS) to arrest and detain the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele.
Justice Tsoho, while declining the motion ex-parte filed by an applicant in the absence of the respondent, said the secret police did not provide any concrete evidence to substantiate its claims that Emefiele was involved in terrorism financing and economic crimes. At the proceeding, the Judge noted that 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.
“In the light of the foregoing reasons, I decline to grant this application ex parte. If the applicant believes that the evidence available to it so far is sufficient, then it can as well arrest and detain the applicant, even without the order of the court. If however the applicant desires to still pursue this application, then it should place the respondent on notice considering the sensitive public office that he occupies,” the judge said.
Justice Tsoho, therefore, refused to entertain the suit until credible evidence is brought before the court as to the reason why the court should grant the request. The move by the DSS comes after the recent controversial decisions of the CBN to redesign the 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes, as part of the measure to reduce the quantity of cash outside of its control, and discourage certain criminal activities such as kidnapping for ransom.