Emefiele: Lawyers condemn DSS, warders’ clash as family protests re-arrest

Condemnation has trailed the conduct of the Department of State Services at the Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday during the court appearance of the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.

The DSS took Emefiele before the court for arraignment on Tuesday but rearrested and whisked him away despite that the court granted him bail and ordered that he should be remanded at the Ikoyi facility of the Nigerian Correctional Services.

The situation led to a clash between DSS operatives and prison officials.

Emefiele was arraigned on two counts of illegal firearms possession before Justice Nicholas Oweibo.

He was brought before the court in a white Hilux van accompanied by heavily-armed DSS operatives.

On arrival on the court premises on Tuesday morning, Emefiele, who wore a white jalamia and looked frail, was immediately whisked into the courtroom.

When the charges were read to him, Emefiele, however, pleaded not guilty.

The defence lawyer, Joseph Daudu (SAN), who led four other senior advocates, moved an application for Emefiele’s bail.

But the DSS counsel, Mrs Nkiru Jones-Nebo, objected to the bail, saying she had not been served with a copy of the application.

However, Justice Oweibo, in a ruling granted Emefiele bail in the sum of N20m with one surety in like sum.

The judge, however, ordered that he should be remanded in the Ikoyi custodial facility of the Nigeria Correctional Services pending the perfection of the bail conditions.

The judge, subsequently, adjourned till November 14 for trial.

However, heavy drama ensued after the court proceedings, as DSS operatives laid siege outside the courtroom to re-arrest Emefiele.

The situation, which led to a face-off between DSS operatives and men of the Nigerian Correctional Services, saw Emefiele stuck in the courtroom long after the conclusion of court proceedin

In the ensuing battle for control,  the prison commander was ruffled and his uniform was torn, while he was being dragged towards the DSS van by DSS operatives who swarmed on him.

The situation angered Emefiele’s family members and lawyers, who accused the DSS of acting lawlessly and disrespecting the court.

A man who gave his name as George and introduced himself as Emefiele’s brother described the development as unfortunate in a democratic dispensation.

“Three courts have said release him on bail, he’s not running away for God’s sake. He has served this nation for nine years, where is he going to go to? All his life is in Nigeria here.

“You can imagine a situation where two military federal government apparatus are fighting themselves, manhandling the commander of the prison commission, it is a disgrace to this nation, it is a complete disgrace,”