Lawyers affiliated with the United Lawyers for Rule of Law Defense have expressed their strong condemnation and indignation regarding the midnight intrusion into the Lagos residence of Dr. Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and his subsequent arrest by the Department of State Services (DSS).
They have characterized this incident as undemocratic and against the principles of the rule of law.
In a press statement issued on Saturday, the leader of the group, Hon. Obe Albert, argued that the arrest of Emefiele, despite the existence of a valid court order prohibiting his arrest, goes against the fundamental principles of the rule of law.
The lawyers firmly emphasized the importance of upholding the rule of law and called for the immediate release of Dr. Emefiele, urging respect for the authority of the court and the principles that underpin the rule of law.
The statement read “A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, in December 2022, barred the Department of State Services and the Inspector General of Police from arresting and detaining the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, over allegations of terrorism and sundry offences against him.
“Also restrained by the court order are the Attorney General of the Federation, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria, who were listed as the first, second and fifth defendants.
“Justice MA Hassan made the order while delivering judgment in a suit marked GAR/CV/41/2022, filed by the Incorporated Trustees of the Forum for Accountability and Good Leadership.
“In the suit filed on December 19, 2022, the applicant, among other reliefs, prayed the court for a declaration that the continuous harassments, intimidation, threats, restriction of free movement, abuse of the right of office, surreptitious moves to arrest, and humiliation of Emefiele, by the respondents are vindictive, unwarranted and abrasive.
“We urge President Bola Tinubu to immediately call the DSS to order based on this subsisting court judgement.
“We believe strongly that Dr Emefiele’s arrest has put a question mark on the rule of law mantra of the President.
“It is too early in the day for this administration to begin to disobey court orders. We, therefore, call for Emefiele’s immediate release.”