Following the continued detention of Godwin Emefiele, the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and Abdulrasheed Bawa, the suspended executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), a constitutional lawyer, Mike Ozekhome has criticised the Federal Government over their unlawful detention.
Ozekhome who spoke on Tuesday in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja characterised the current struggles of Emefiele and Bawa as the pinnacle of executive lawlessness and rascality.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) lamented the fact that, despite all the wrongdoings committed under President Muhammadu Buhari’s most recent administration, only Bawa and Emefiele had received punishment.
Ozekhome, however, condemned the action of the DSS in their continued incarceration of the duo against constitutional provisions and lawful order of court, describing it as barbaric, atrocious and unconscionable.
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He lamented that while Bawa was being kept in “captivity” nearly two months after he was invited for interrogation by the DSS, Emefiele was not allowed to go despite being admitted to bail by a court of competent jurisdiction.
The statement reads: “The DSS, through its Director of Information, Willie Bassey, cited “weighty allegations of abuse of office levelled against him”, as the reason for Bawa’s continued captivity.
“This continued detention without trial is barbaric, atrocious and unconscionable, to say the least.
“Till date, the DSS has not told Nigerians what Bawa’s specific offences are (if any), or the level of “investigation.”
Furthermore, Ozekhome remarked that the plight of the suspended CBN boss was as a result of the unpalatable “feast” he had with the Buhari government.
He pointed out that while Emefiele had been serially accused of plunging the nation’s currency to a zero level amongst other alleged crimes, he was yet to hear anyone accuse Emefiele of stealing trillions of naira like many of Buhari’s acolytes.
He added: “I did not hear that he was involved in any coup attempt, or in kidnapping, armed banditry, or armed robbery. I have yet to hear that Emefiele committed murder.
“Even in these capital offences, a Judge can still grant bail to an accused person under certain circumstances as provided for in section 161 of the ACJA.
“So, the questions still remain unanswered: were all these acts complained about in Emefiele’s own accord alone? Could Emefiele have taken these decisions alone without former President Buhari’s backing?
“Can someone clap with one palm? Why punish the messenger and save the principal sender? Is this not selective justice? Is it because of where he comes from? Could this have happened to a northerner given the same extenuating circumstances.”
While denouncing the DSS for its propensity to ignore court orders by keeping Emefiele and Bawa in custody due to baseless accusations, he urged the security agency to free the two men right away in accordance with the Rule of Law.