By Levinus Nwabughiogu-Abuja
Lawyers under the aegis of united lawyers for Rule of law defence have expressed outrage over the midnight invasion of the Lagos residence of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Dr Godwin Emefiele, and his forceful arrest by men of the Department of State Services (DSS), describing the development as undemocratic.
In a press statement issued on Saturday by their leader, Hon. Obe Albert, the lawyers argued that arresting Emefiele despite a subsisting court order barring his arrest was against the norms of the rule of law.
They subsequently called for his release out of respect for the court and the rule of law.
The statement read “A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, in December 2022, barred the Department of State Services and the Inspector General of Police from arresting and detaining the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, over allegations of terrorism and sundry offences against him.
“Also restrained by the court order are the Attorney General of the Federation, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria, who were listed as the first, second and fifth defendants.
“Justice MA Hassan made the order while delivering judgment in a suit marked GAR/CV/41/2022, filed by the Incorporated Trustees of the Forum for Accountability and Good Leadership.
“In the suit filed on December 19, 2022, the applicant, among other reliefs, prayed the court for a declaration that the continuous harassments, intimidation, threats, restriction of free movement, abuse of the right of office, surreptitious moves to arrest, and humiliation of Emefiele, by the respondents are vindictive, unwarranted and abrasive.
“We urge President Bola Tinubu to immediately call the DSS to order based on this subsisting court judgement.
“We believe strongly that Dr Emefiele’s arrest has put a question mark on the rule of law mantra of the President.
“It is too early in the day for this administration to begin to disobey court orders. We, therefore, call for Emefiele’s immediate release.”