•… cautions DSS against rule of law breach
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri, Abuja
The African Bar Association, AFBA, yesterday flayed plot by the Department of State Service, DSS, to arrest governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, for alleged terrorism financing.
The regional legal body, in a statement, said though it does not meddle or interfere in the local governance and political issues of members nations, there was need for agencies of government to show respect and obedience to the rule of law at all times.
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It described strict adherence to the rule of law as the pillar on which every democracy stood.
AFBA in the statement signed by its Chairman, Human and Constitutional Rights Committee, Sonnie Ekwowusi, said where the courts had spoken in clear terms, such declarations must be obeyed.
It urged any party not satisfied with subsisting pronouncement of a court to approach a higher court to set it aside, rather than resorting to self-help or use of force.
The statement read: “We are aware that the Federal High Court in Abuja declined to grant an Exparte application to the State Security Service for the arrest of Mr. Emefiele, hinging its decision on the absence of concrete evidence to warrant the court to grant such order.
“The court further pointed out irregularity and unacceptability of the procedure deployed by the State Security Service and hence declined to grant the order.
“The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in an application for the enforcement of the fundamental rights of Mr. Emefiele, clearly restrained the State Security Service, the Nigeria Police Force, the Economic and Financial Crimes commission and the Attorney General of the Federation from inviting, arresting, detaining, interrogating or prosecuting Mr. Emefiele on the allegations of Terrorism financing and other economic crimes.
“Nigeria is a democracy and obedience to court judgments and orders as such is not by choice. All authorities must obey same. That is what is globally referred to as the rule of law.
“All the agencies listed in the said suit marked as FCT/HC/GAR/CV/41/2022, are bound to obey the judgment until it is set aside on appeal so as to let the tension douse for the general interest of Nigeria.”
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