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Again court grants former CBN Gov Emefiele bail

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CHIGOZIE IKPO, Abuja

 

An FCT High Court in Maitama, Abuja has granted the former Governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, bail, in the ongoing trial between him and the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which has seen him remain in custody for 151 days.

 

Justice Olukayode Adeniyi granted him bail after listening to all parties in the case, on the fundamental right application by Emefiele against his detention by the anti-graft agency.

 

Emefiele who has been in custody since June 10, 2023, asked the court to let him go on bail, pending the determination of the suit.

 

The application had the Attorney-General of the Federation, Department of State Services, the EFCC listed as 1st to 4th respondents.

 

In Wednesday’s proceedings, Counsel for Emefiele, Mathew Burkaa (SAN), urged the court to grant him bail on liberal terms as he has been in custody for a period of 151 days, which is beyond the constitutionally approved two to three months period.

 

He said there was no evidence that Emefiele is a flight risk assuring the court that he will always be wherever he is needed.

 

Counsel for the Federal Government and the AGF, Oyin Koleosho, asked the court to dismiss the bail application saying that the applicant was taken into their custody on October 26, 2023, which is not up to two months, adding that they have filed a preliminary objection on November 6 as well as an affidavit of facts, filed on 8th November, in reaction to the application.

 

He told the court that the applicant has just been in the custody of the 3rd&4th respondent for less than a month,  and there is a hearing notice for a pending matter by the AGF where Emefiele would be arraigned which is coming up on November 15, 2023.

 

He therefore urged the court to dismiss the application in the interest of due administration of Justice in order not to create problems for the applicant, or instead keep the application pending, until the applicant is charged by next week, after which, the merits of the case can be considered.

 

Farouk Abdulla representing the anti-graft agency agreed with the submissions and asked the court to dismiss the application, informing the court of a detention order made by a magistrate court, with a return date set for November 10, 2023.

 

Justice Adeniyi agreed with the submissions of Emefiele’s counsel and granted the application but said the Senior lawyer must produce him any day the Federal Government chooses to arraign him.

 

On the length of detention, Justice Adeniyi said “There must be an end to detention without trial”

 

Emefilele is also to deposit his travelling passport with the Registrar of the Court pending his formal arraignment.

 

Justice Adeniyi thereafter, adjourned the substantive motion on notice as well as the preliminary objection till November 17, 2023.

 

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