DSS men, Prisons officials in free-for-all over Emefiele


DSS men, Prisons officials in free-for-all over EmefieleBy Innocent Anaba, Henry Ojelu, Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo & Fortune Eromosele, LAGOS

46 days after he was arrested by the Department of State Services, DSS and two weeks after a Federal High Court in Abuja gave an order for his release or arraignment for any offence he might have allegedly committed, suspended Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, was yesterday arraigned for illegal possession of firearms and granted bail by a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

Emefiele’s arraignment was, however, enmeshed in drama, following a scuffle between DSS operatives and officials of the Nigerian Prisons Service, over which of the agencies should take custody of Emefiele after he was granted bail in the sum of N20million by Justice Nicholas Oweibo

The scuffle between the two agencies later culminated in a free-for-all as the Armed Squad Commander of the NPS, Williams Udom, who had come to give tactical support to the prison officials in the court premises, was manhandled, with his service uniform torn.

It took the intervention of a senior female DSS official, who arrived at the scene hours after the standoff and had a brief chat with NCoS officials and her operatives to douse the tension.

This paved way for the DSS to re-arrest Emefiele immediately after he stepped out of the courtroom.

The charge

In a two-count charge filed before the court, the Federal Government alleged that Mr Emefiele was found in possession of a single-barrel shotgun (Jojeff Magnum 8371) without a license on June 15, 2023, at No.3b Ibru Close, Ikoyi, Lagos.

In the second count, the suspended CBN governor was accused of having in his possession 123 rounds of live ammunition (cartridges) without a license, which is contrary to Section 8 of the Firearms Act 2004 and punishable under Section 27 (1)(b)(il) of the same Act.

The government maintained that the offence was contrary to Section 4 of the Firearms Act, 2004, and punishable under Section 27 (1b).

After the charges were read to him, Emefiele insisted on his innocence and pleaded not guilty to the allegation.


After the arraignment, Emefiele’s counsel and former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Chief Joseph Daudu, SAN, drew the attention of the court to his application for bail which had earlier been filed and urged the court to grant his client bail on self-recognition or on any other reasonable terms.

Daudu told the court that his client had been in the DSS custody for over 46 days and prayed to the court to end the oppression of his client.

“There should be an end to oppression,” he said,
Daudu’s bail application was, however, opposed by a Deputy Director of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Nkiru Jones-Nebo, who prayed the court that Emefiele should not be released because he is a flight risk.

Jones-Nebo, who claimed among others that she had “not been given the bail application,” argued among others, that the defendant can evade trial or use his power as CBN boss to intimidate his colleagues and prevent the trial from going on.

“As I stand here, I have not seen it,” she said, praying for time to respond to the application.

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