Nigeria violates own laws with indefinate detentions


Nigerian president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu

from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
Nigeria Bureau
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – NIGERIAN and civil society organisations doubt the commitment to revive democracy by the new administration of President Bola Tinubu.

This follows the detention of the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, in defiance of the High Court granting him bail.

He received bail last week and immediately, after the breakthrough, members of the Department of State Services (DSS) forcibly took him from the Nigeria Correctional Service, in court.

The Conference of Nigeria Parties (CNPP) and the Coalition of National Civil Society Organisations (CNCSOs) now doubt a pledge by Tinubu to be a democrat. They believe he is maintaining the reputation of his ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to detain, without trial, suspected political enemies.

CNPP is an umbrella association of all registered political parties and political associations in Nigeria.

James Ezema, Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the CNPP, and the National Secretary of the CNCSOs, Alhaji Ali Abacha, jointly stated that, “Respect for court order is one of the basic ingredients of a democratic society.”

They believe such violations could deter investments to Africa’s largest, albeit struggling, economy.

“Nigeria needs investors to come. However, no investor will put his money in a country where a clear order of a court of competent jurisdiction is violated at will.”

The organisations appealed to Tinubu to call the secret service, DSS, to order following the scenes at court last week after a fight between members of the agency and correctional service counterparts.

“It has become not just a national show of shame but an international embarrassment that the age long inter-agency rivalry in Nigeria would be brought to the full glare of the public where DSS operatives will be manhandling a security personnel on official duty in a court premises.”

CNPP and CNCSOs have therefore called for the immediate release of Emefiele from the custody of DSS as the court has already granted him bail.

“If the Federal Government has any established case against him, the rule of law should be followed,” they stated.

DSS arrested Emefiele (61) on June 10, a day after Tinubu suspended him.

Meanwhile, suspended chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa (43) has been in DSS’ custody since June 14, the day Tinubu suspended him over alleged corruption. He has not been arraigned in court.

Nigeria’s constitution does not permit indefinite detention of citizens without charge.

Last week, Emefiele was in court for alleged illegal possession of firearms.

This was surprising as it was expected he would be charged for economic crimes.

– CAJ News




scroll to top