Court Restrains SSS From Arresting Emefiele’s Siblings


A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has restrained the State Security Service (SSS) and its agents from arresting two siblings of the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.


Justice E. Okpe, who is the court’s vacation judge, issued the restraining orders in two rulings on separate ex-parte motions filed by George Emefiele and Okanta Emefiele.

The judge held that the restraining order, made in respect of the two applicants, shall subsist pending the determination of the fundamental rights enforcement suits filed by George and Okanta.

In one of the rulings, Justice Okpe said: “An order of interim injunction, restraining the 1st respondent whether by themselves, their officers, agents, servants, privies or acting through any person or persons however from threatening, harassing, intimidating, inviting and arresting the applicant or in any other manner whatsoever, interfering with his rights to life, freedom of movement, personal liberty, and human dignity until the determination of the substantive suit.”

The judge had, after the rulings on August 4, adjourned till August 14 for hearing on the substantive suits, marked: FCT/HC/CV/7050/2023 and FCT/HC/CV/7051/2023.

READ ALSO: Godwin Emefiele Facing Gun And Ammunition Possession Charges – Reports

Listed as respondents in both suits are the SSS and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

When parties returned to court on Monday, the judge noted that the SSS was yet to respond to the substantive s and proceeded to reschedule the hearing for August 23.

The AGF, in a counter affidavit, faulted the claims by both applicants and denied knowledge of any plot to arrest any of them.

In an affidavit supporting the suit by George, it was stated that “as siblings, the applicant periodically visits his brother Mr. Godwin Emefiele in the custody of the 1st respondent (SSS) whenever access is granted to him or any other family member.

“Because of the applicant’s relationship with Mr. Godwin Emefiele, he reasonably believes that the 1st respondent is taking steps to infringe on his fundamental human right and that of other family members by arresting and detaining the applicant.

“The applicant has not committed any offence that will warrant any invitation to the office of the 1st respondent or detention by the 1st respondent.

“The applicant knows for a fact that it is not a crime to be associated with a suspect, who is under investigation or being investigated by the 1st respondent.

“The applicant reasonably believes that his fundamental human right is about to be infringed by the respondents in respect of the purported ongoing investigation of Mr. Godwin Emefiele.

”They want the court to, among others, issue an order of perpetual injunction restraining the SSS from inviting, intimidating, harassing, and arresting or detaining them in relation “to matters or body of matters which relates to the ongoing investigation of Mr. Godwin Emefiele and/or matters outside the constitutional and statutory mandate of the 1st respondent.”

The office of the AGF, in the counter affidavit, faulted Okanta’s claim to be Emefiele’s relative and prayed the court to dismiss both suits for lacking in merit.

It added the 2nd respondent (the AGF) is not aware of the alleged relationship between the applicant and Godwin Emefiele, the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, and no evidence of such association or relationship is before the court.

READ ALSO: DSS Arrests Godwin Emefiele

“The applicant did not place anything before the court to show that he was about to be invited or arrested by the 1st respondent, who neither arrested nor detained him for over two months that he has been visiting his brother in the custody of the 1st respondent.

“The applicant did not state any overt or positive act(s), specific step, or action taken by the 1st respondent which will inevitably and eventually lead to the violation of his fundamental rights.

“The respondents are not seeking to arrest the applicant in lieu of his brother. The 1st respondent has not stated that the applicant is being or about to be invited or arrested for financial, commercial or contract-related matters.

“It is not the place of the applicant to determine whether he has committed any offence that will warrant the  invitation or not, neither can he dictate to the 1st respondent when and how to invite him in connection with the ongoing investigation of his brother or for any reason whatsoever.”

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