The reason behind the rearrest of the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, by the Department of State Services (DSS) on Tuesday, shortly after he had been granted bail by a Federal High Court in Lagos has finally been disclosed.
Bellnews recalls that the re-arrest sparked a physical confrontation between DSS officers and officials of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) who had been given custody of Emefiele.
Emefiele was facing charges of illegal possession of firearms in front of Justice Nicholas Oweibo. He pleaded not guilty and was granted bail for N20 million with a matching surety.
The court then postponed the trial until November 14, ordering Emefiele to remain in the custody of the correctional service until he met his bail requirements.
However, aware of the possibility of being re-arrested by DSS, Emefiele decided to stay within the courtroom even after the session had been adjourned.
His lawyer, former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Joseph Daudu, warned about the DSS’s intention to re-arrest Emefiele despite the court’s orders.
Tensions rose as DSS agents, positioned at the entrance of the courtroom, got into a confrontation with a senior officer from the Nigerian Correctional Service who tried to take Emefiele into custody as per the court’s direction. This clash resulted in a NCoS officer’s uniform being torn, journalists being ordered to leave, and court officials and visitors fleeing for safety.
The DSS has yet to officially clarify why Emefiele was re-arrested.
However, a source related to the case said the re-arrest was made using an arrest warrant from a magistrate’s court on allegations of financing terrorism.
The source said, “The arrest warrant was based on an allegation of financing terrorism. We don’t know the propriety of the arrest warrant because a copy has not been made available to the defence team.
“We don’t know why the DSS will obtain an arrest warrant from a magistrate’s court when a Federal High Court has already granted him bail. This is impunity of the highest order,” the source told Daily Trust.