The Federal High Court in Lagos witnessed drama on Tuesday when the Department of State Services (DSS) re-arrested Godwin Emefiele, the suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, even after he was given bail.
The situation escalated into a clash between DSS operatives and officials from the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) over custody of the embattled former CBN Governor.
The suspened CBN Governor, who was initially in the custody of the DSS, had been granted bail by Justice Nicholas Oweibo following the submissions of his counsel, Joseph Daudu (SAN).
The bail conditions entailed his relocation to a correctional center until the fulfillment of the requirements.
The court ordered Emefiele to pay N20 million and provide a surety who owns property within the court’s jurisdiction and is at least Level 16 in the Nigerian Civil Service.
Also, he must deposit his international passport with the court.
However, the DSS re-arrested Emefiele within the premises of the Federal High Court.
Prior to the re-arrest, Daudu had raised concerns about the alleged plans by the DSS to re-arrest his client, despite the court’s bail ruling.
The lawyer argued for bail on self recognizance or other liberal terms, emphasizing that Emefiele, a renowned banker, would not flee the country and would comply with the legal proceedings.
The situation quickly escalated when prison officials from the Nigerian Correctional Service arrived at the court to take custody of Emefiele as per the court’s order.
A confrontation ensued between the DSS operatives and the prison officials, both claiming the right to hold the former CBN governor in their custody.
As tensions flared, the prison officials eventually left the court and the DSS reportedly took their own action, transferring Emefiele from the court to their waiting vehicle.
The initial charges against Emefiele, filed by the Federal Government, accuse him of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
During the court proceedings, Emefiele pleaded not guilty to these charges, maintaining his innocence.