The Federal Government has brought an application to withdraw the “illegal possession of firearms” case it filed against the suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) at the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mohammed Bakodo Abubakar, made the oral application before Justice Nicholas Oweibo on Tuesday.
Opposed by Emefiele’s counsel, Joseph Daudu (SAN), the DPP argued that his application was brought under section 108 of the Administration of criminal justice act of 2015, which grants a prosecutor powers to withdraw charges against the defendant at any stage, and that it doesn’t have to be in writing.
Daudu had argued that the Government disobeyed the court order granting Emefiele bail. He said an application under section 174(1) and (3) of the Nigerian constitution cannot be made orally, but in a formal application which “must establish the need for public interest, the interest of justice and the need to prevent abuse of legal process.”
Justice Oweibo, on July 25, admitted Emefiele to a N20 million bail on a two-count charge of alleged illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, ordering his remand at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre, pending the fulfilment of his bail conditions.
Meanwhile, Justice Oweibo, who described the development as a “surprise” to the court, has adjourned until Thursday, Aug 17, to give a ruling on the matter.
Speaking with journalists after the day’s proceedings, Abubakar said there was a pending 20-count charge against Emefiele at the FCT high court, which involves allegedly conferring unlawful advantages, bordering on procurement under the ICPC Act.
On the refusal of the DSS to release Emefiele as ordered by the judge, the DPP said there were administrative protocols to be followed by the DSS before its transfer of a detainee to another agency, which delayed its obedience to the court order.