The Department of State Services (DSS) says the agency obtained a detention order to keep Godwin Emefiele, the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in its custody.
The secret police said the detention order was gotten from a magistrate court immediately after the July 27 court case.
Edward Okpe, a judge at the high court in Abuja, had on July 27 dismissed an application by the DSS seeking to further detain Emefiele for 14 days.
In the application filed by the service, the agency alleged that it has discovered new evidence against the suspended CBN governor.
Speaking in an opinion published on Thursday, Peter Afunanya, DSS spokesperson, said the July 27 court case was dismissed because the agency withdrew the application.
Afunanya said the secret police has always obeyed court orders in the handling of Emefiele’s case.
On the face-off between DSS operatives and prison officials, he said the findings from the preliminary investigation of the incident are “quite shocking”.
“Emefiele was arraigned before Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the federal high court, Ikoyi, Lagos, on 25th July 2023 for illegal possession of arms and ammunition,” the DSS spokesperson said.
“The service had long issued a press statement over the incident that happened at the court between its staff and those of Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) and pledged to investigate it.
“Though the investigation is ongoing, the preliminary findings are quite shocking considering the ignoble roles played by some public officials.
“As normal with criminal investigations, security agencies re-arrest suspects when there is adequate suspicion of commission of a crime or as may be revealed by an ongoing investigation.
“Emefiele was re-arrested on the basis of this. Even though the re-arrest was tainted by the overzealousness of personnel of the service and NCoS, it was nonetheless legally procedural.
“Later, the service applied for an ex parte order at the FCT high court presided by Justice Edward Okpe (and not Justice Mu’azu as erroneously and massively reported in the media) to detain Emefiele for 14 days.
“Many had gone to town with stories of DSS fragrant disobedience to court orders especially in view of the last episodes at the high courts in Lagos and Abuja.
“With what played out at the court on 27th July 2023 under Justice Okpe, the service immediately applied and obtained a detention order from a magistrate court.
“So, Emefiele is legally detained. For reasons that the Emefiele case is subjudice, the service will restrain from making further comments on the subject matter.”
On July 25, Emefiele was arraigned on a two-count charge over “illegal possession” of firearms at a federal high court in Ikoyi and was granted N20 million bail.
Nicholas Oweibo, the presiding judge, had ordered that Emefiele should be kept in the custody of the Nigeria Correctional Service pending the fulfilment of his bail conditions.
But the DSS insisted that Emefiele must return to its custody — a development that led to the face-off between the secret police and prison officials.
After the face-off, DSS rearrested Emefiele at the court premises.