In a continuing legal saga surrounding alleged financial misconduct by the former governor of the Central Bank, a court in Abuja has delivered a significant judgment. The Federal Government of Nigeria has been directed to pay €100,000 (100 million nairas) in damages to Godwin Emefiele, the former head of the Central Bank, for his unlawful detention.
The High Court in Abuja concluded that the prolonged detention of former governor Godwin Emefiele constituted a “violation of his fundamental rights.” Both the Nigerian federal government and the anti-corruption agency EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) have been ordered to compensate the former Central Bank chief with €100,000.
Godwin Emefiele was apprehended in June by the Nigerian Intelligence Services (DSS) and subsequently incarcerated without facing a trial. He was eventually released at the end of December upon posting a bail of €300,000.
Highlighting the legal intricacies, the Abuja High Court emphasized on January 8th that Godwin Emefiele cannot be re-arrested without a proper and valid warrant.
In response to the judgment, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) promptly announced its intention to appeal the decision. The EFCC asserts that Emefiele’s arrest was lawful, contending that all requisite documents were provided before detaining the former Central Bank governor, who is currently under investigation for alleged fraud and financial misconduct.
This legal development adds a new chapter to the ongoing narrative surrounding financial improprieties within Nigeria’s institutions, emphasizing the delicate balance between accountability and legal procedures in addressing allegations of corruption at the highest levels. The appeal promised by the EFCC suggests that the legal battle over this high-profile case is far from concluded.