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CBN: How DSS can properly handle Godwin Emefiele’s allegations —Falana, SAN

Mr. Femi Falana, Human Rights Lawyer and SAN

*Femi Falana, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, and human rights lawyer, urges the country’s Directorate of State Services to probe suspended CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele for alleged terror financing, and transfer him to the EFCC for prosecution over  money laundering, other graft accusations

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In order to ensure diligent investigation and possible prosecution for alleged offences, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, has urged the Department of State Services (DSS) to handle the alleged offences against Mr. Godwin Emefiele, suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) properly.

Falana, in a statement issued Sunday, June 11, 2023, said the Nigerian secret police should prosecute Emefiele for alleged terrorism financing which falls under its purview, while the DSS should hand him over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for prosecution for suspected money laundering and related graft accusations.

It is recalled President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, last Friday suspended Emefiele from office as Governor of CBN, and directed Mr. Folashodun Shonubi, the Deputy Governor of Operations, to resume office as Acting CBN Governor.

Amid subsequent speculations and reports Friday night, that the secret police had arrested Emefiele, the DSS Saturday, June 10 later confirmed ito Nigerians, that Emefiele is, indeed, in its custody for “investigative reasons”.

Money laundering, economic crimes fall under purview of EFCC

Reacting to the development Sunday, Falana, however, advised the DSS to not bungle the case involving the suspended CBN Chief by prosecuting him for alleged “money laundering and economic crimes”, which he argued fall under the purview of the EFCC.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria also urged the DSS probe Emefiele for purported terror financing and transfer him to the EFCC for prosecution for alleged money laundering.

Falana further stated: “A few months ago, the State Security Service (SSS) levelled grave allegations of terrorism financing, money laundering, and other economic crimes against Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“At the material time, the attempt by the SSS to arrest, investigate, and prosecute Mr. Emefiele was frustrated by the erstwhile Buhari administration.”

The statement noted: “However, following the suspension of Mr. Emefiele as the Governor of the CBN by President Bola Tinubu, the SSS quizzed him in Lagos and flew him to Abuja….

“According to media reports, the investigation of the suspect by the SSS has commenced.

“Even though the SSS which initially denied the arrest has since turned round to admit that Mr. Emefiele is in its custody.”

The Bukola Saraki v. Federal Republic of Nigeria (2018) case as an example

Falana said: “In the case of Dr. Bukola Saraki v. Federal Republic of Nigeria (2018) 16 NWLR (pt. 1646) 433-434, the Supreme Court ruled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission lacks the vires to investigate and prosecute the appellant for the breach of the provisions of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.

“It was for that principal reason that Senator Saraki was freed by the apex court.

He as well noted that “in line with the principle of law enunciated by the apex court in Saraki’s case, the SSS lacks the power to investigate and prosecute Mr. Emefiele in respect of allegations of money laundering and other economic crimes.

“Therefore, after investigating the alleged involvement of Mr. Emefiele in terrorism financing, the SSS should transfer him to the EFCC for the purpose of investigating the allegations of money laundering and allied offences. Otherwise, the investigation of the case will be bungled by the SSS!”

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