Court asks FG, EFCC to pay Emefiele N100m over rights violation



A Federal Capital Territory High Court, sitting in Maitama, Abuja, has declared the prolonged detention of former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emfiele, without trial as a flagrant violation of his fundamental rights.

Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, while ruling on a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by Emefiele, on Monday, fined the federal government and the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) N100m, for violating the fundamental rights of the former apex bank chief.

Emefiele had sued the federal government, Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Executive Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the commission, over alleged breach of his fundamental rights to life, personal liberty, fair hearing and freedom of movement.

He had sought a declaration of the court that his continued detention by the agency of the first and second respondents since June 10, 2023, and subsequent transfer to the custody of the third and fourth respondents on October 26, 2023, without being arraigned in court is unlawful.

Emefiele, who prayed the court to order the respondents to pay N1bn as damages for the violation of his fundamental rights, also asked the court to restrain the respondents from further arresting and or detaining him upon his release by the court without preferring a criminal charge against him.

In his ruling on Monday, Justice Adeniyi granted the prayers of the former apex bank chief, restraining the Federal Government and its agents from rearresting or detaining him without a court order.