On Monday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to comply with the court’s directive to either release or bring the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Maitama, as ordered by Justice Olukayode Adeniyi on November 2.
Emefiele’s counsel, Mr. Mathew Burkaa, informed the court that the EFCC had violated the court’s order during the resumed proceedings in the case.
“My lord they have flouted both orders as today marks the 149th day of the Applicant being in custody.
“The Applicant is still in custody of the 3rd and 4th Respondents, up till this moment that we speak,” Emefiele’s lawyer added.
Speaking, the counsel to the EFCC, Mr Farouk Abdullahi, confirmed that the order was served on the commission but said it was not true that Emefiele had been in the custody of the agency for over 100 days.
He said, “My lord, I do confirm that we received the order. It is however not correct that the Applicant has been in custody of the 3rd and 4th Respondent for over 100 days.
“He has only been in custody of 3rd and 4th for only 7 days
“We got the processes and we intend to react to them to set the record straight.
“Unfortunately, we are unable to do so because the processes received by 3rd and 4th respondents were incomplete.
“We are not insinuating that it was deliberate, it may be inadvertent on the part of counsel for the Applicant.
“Certain exhibits they referred to, particularly exhibit E, were not attached.”
Asked by the judge if the absence of the exhibit was enough excuse for EFCC to disobey the order of the court, Farouk claimed they misunderstood the order.
“My lord, we thought that the order was that we either release him unconditionally or bring him to the court so that his bail application will be heard.
“My lord, the 3rd Respondent is a law-abiding establishment that will never take orders of this court for granted,” he pleaded.
Before adjourning the case until November 8, Justice Adeniyi reasserted the court’s orders. He reiterated that the EFCC must either unconditionally release Godwin Emefiele or, as an alternative, bring him to court on the next adjourned date for bail consideration.
Emefiele, who has been in detention since June 9, sought the court’s intervention to uphold his fundamental human rights. In addition to seeking his immediate release from EFCC custody, he is requesting the court to grant him damages amounting to N5 million.