An FCT High Court has awarded the sum of N100 million in damages in favour of former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele over his prolonged detention without trial, which it declared a flagrant violation of his fundamental rights.
In the judgment on Monday, Justice Kayode Adeniyi also restrained the federal government and its agents from re-arresting or detaining Emefiele without an order of court.
The judgment was given in a fundamental human rights suit filed by the former CBN governor challenging his prolonged detention in the custody of the Department of State Services.
He asked the court to order the respondents to pay him N1 billion damages and to restrain them from further arresting and or detaining him.
The suit has the federal government, the Attorney General of the Federation; the EFCC, and its chairman as defendants.The judge said, “The actions of the first and fourth respondents and its agents incarcerating the applicants from June 13, 2023, to October 26, 2023, when he was transferred to the custody of the fourth respondent and his further detention by the third and fourth respondents without arraignment in the court of law for the commission of any offence up until November 8, 2023, when by the order of this court when the applicant was released on bail to his senior learned counsel, constitutes a flagrant violation of the applicant’s fundamental rights to personal liberty preserved by the provision of Section 35 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1979 and Article 6 of the African charter on human and peoples right.”
Meanwhile, the EFCC has expressed dissatisfaction with the judgment awarding N100 million damages against it in favour of a former governor of the CBN.
The EFCC’s spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, who said this in a statement on Monday in Abuja, stated that the commission would appeal the judgment immediately.
Oyewale said that Justice O.A Adeniyi had on Monday, fined the commission after he ruled that its detention of Emefiele in the course of his investigation was a violation of his right to liberty.
“The decision failed to take cognizance of the fact that the former CBN boss was held with a valid order of court. Consequently, the Commission will approach the Court of Appeal to set it aside,” he said.