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Emefiele: DSS’ defiance of court order approves lawlessness

THERE is no doubt that keeping Godwin Emefiele, suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, is a big brief. What could be bigger is who keeps him.

Special budget must be required for security to move him around. Taking him to Abuja from Lagos was in a private jet. The viral video of him boarding the jet was not by accident. It is unlikely that he returned to Lagos by road.

We were being put on notice that it was expensive to lock Emefiele up. Someone must have scanned that fat bible to approve it as fit to read. A lot needs to be done around him.

The Emefiele at the court cut the image of a pastorpreneur. Who knows if he has got the calling from his adversity?

Any doubts about the importance of Emefiele have been cleared with the fight to take him back to custody after his court appearance. The contestants would not yield grounds.

Department of State Service, DSS, brought him to court. Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court, Lagos was clear in the ruling that Emefiele should be taken to a correctional facility to perfect his bail conditions.

Read also: We did not encourage operatives to fight over Emefiele — DSS

DSS was determined to hold on to their prized detainee. Its operatives assaulted officials of the Nigerian Correctional Service who were available to execute the court order. The fight for the disobedience of a court was in public glare.

Dr. Peter Afunanya, DSS spokesperson, blamed officials of both agencies for over-zealousness and promised an investigation.

“The DSS recognises the Judiciary as a critical component in nation building, national development and security management. Also, the Service has robust working relationship with sister security and law enforcement agencies including the NCoS,” he added. He did not fail to spread the blame to the public which he earlier warned was out to discredit the leadership of DSS. It was as if the public tricked DSS to get into a public brawl to enforce its proud disobedience of a court order.

The next day, DSS was before Justice Hamza Muazu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja seeking a 14-day extended detention order for Emefiele. Its claim was that it needed more time to investigate new information about him. Justice Muazu struck out the case for lack of jurisdiction. He also noted it was an abuse of the judicial process.

Nigerians would like to see Emefiele punished severely. Many of them remember what they suffered earlier in the year in the hands of Emefiele whose incoherence on changing the Naira was worse than silence.

Many things about him make him a different CBN Governor. He scored many “firsts” for the wrong reasons. Here are some of them –

Only CBN Governor to be suspended, not sacked.

First CBN Governor to have been implicated in running for presidency while still in office.

First CBN Governor that DSS threatened to arrest while in office.

First CBN Governor charged to court, in or out of office.

First CBN Governor that two government agencies openly fought to keep in custody.

First CBN Governor alleged to be sponsoring terrorism.

The changing of the Naira that hurt most Nigerians is not one of the charges against him.

A basketball coach friend of mine, Ayodele Bakare, while not defending Emefiele tried to direct the attention of Nigerians to the fact that the current issue was DSS’ wanton disregard of a court ruling. They would rather list their individual Emefiele pains.

Bakare’s Facebook wall is replete with retorts that Emefiele has to suffer, more. He has to feel how ordinary Nigerians felt.

Nobody is sure what Emefiele feels. As in most high-profile cases, he would be set free in due season. Those holding him have enough institutional experience on matters of this nature.

At the Emefiele rate, if Abdul-Rasheed Bawa, suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, appears in court, DSS, EFCC, and correctional facility officers may fight over who keeps him.

What Nigerians should understand is that if DSS can disobey the court with a high-profile person like Emefiele, if the rest of us, ordinary Nigerians, have a matter in court with DSS we cannot get justice no matter how the judge serves it.

A frightening thought creeps into the mind that its disobedience of a court order is so important to DSS that it will fight for it. A DSS that throws decorum to the gutters to defend its defiance of a court order promotes lawlessness and cannot enhance the law and order its activities should support.

Read also: Nnamdi Kanu orders Simon Ekpa to put an end to all ‘Sit-At-Home’

Finally…

SENATOR Osita Izunaso moved a motion demanding that the Federal Government should ask Finland to extradite Simon Ekpa. The motion passed. The provision that the demand should wait for the appointment of a Minister of Foreign Affairs under-states the urgency of the issue. We have an Ambassador in Finland; he can submit the letter to the Finnish Government. We also have the Ambassador of Finland in Abuja. He too can submit the letter to his government.

THE Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL, expects applause over its report on crude oil theft. In one week in July, 93 illegal pipeline connections were discovered, 69 illegal refineries destroyed in Niger Delta, its documentary showed. No ship was arrested. Nigerians are not impressed. When would NNPCL move from discovery of thefts to prevention of breaches of oil facilities?

JOE Ajaero, president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, says what organised labour would start on Wednesday would be protests not strikes. Nigerians await the outcome.

BY forcing people to open their shops, Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State is not different from the criminals forcing people to sit at home. The shops are not government property. The owners can decide to open or shut down. Suppose the owners are re-stocking? Mbah’s mis-management of the situation has led to loss of lives yet his government has set punitive measures for the shops to re-open. He needs to pay compensations for the damages done and withdraw those orders.

SENATOR Adams Oshiomhole alleged that departing members of the National Assembly stole furnishing and office equipment. His colleagues flew off the handled. He recanted; the offices were vandalised. Whether theft or vandalisation, the re-equipping of the offices is the explanation for the extra-budgetary allocation of N70 billion palliative to the National Assembly. There are no plans to go after the thieves. Are their successors planning to plunder the offices at the end of their tenure? But N70 billion remains a lot of money. If the 469 members of the National Assembly share the money equally, they would get N149,253,731.34 each.

DO you remember the video of a few moons ago, where then Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike boasted that he would not accept a ministerial appointment? Don’t bet on him rejecting it.

CONGRATULATIONS to the Super Falcons for pulling Nigerians fleetingly out of misery with that 3-2 defeat of co-hosts Australia at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. More work lies ahead and you should do it.

Isiguzo is a major commentator on minor issues