By Abiodun OBA
The Department of State Services (DSS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) did not attempt to forcefully abduct a former Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, from the custody of Nigeria Correctional Centre, Kuje, Abuja.
The Controller General of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS), Haliru Nababa, clarified on Thursday when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions.
The appearance was sequel to a petition by the Centre for Social Justice, Equity, and Transparency alleging that the EFCC and DSS attempted to remove Emefiele from custody forcefully.
The Chairman of the Committee, Rep Mike Etaba, dismissed the petition because it was sub judice when it came up for the first hearing on Thursday.
This was as the Director Legal and Prosecution Department of EFCC, Mr Sylvanus Tahir SAN, said it was inappropriate to entertain the petition as it bordered on a subsisting court matter.
Nababa, who was represented by the Assistant Controller-General in Charge of Operations, Nwakeze Emmanuel, said, “As far as we are concerned, we are not aware of any alleged attempt to forcefully release Dr. Emefiele. Emefiele is still in our custody, bubbling.”
The Committee Chairman said, “This matter is in court, we can’t forge ahead with this matter because it is sub judice to us. This matter is hereby dismissed from this committee.
Earlier, the EFCC’s legal representative, Tahir, had said, “The petition which we perused borders on a pending court case. There is a subsisting criminal charge against Mr. Godwin Emefiele, on whose behalf the petitioners have petitioned.
I am wondering whether it is appropriate, given the fact that it borders on a subsisting court matter, for this committee to, by way of a public hearing delve into the matter, more so that Mr. Emefiele is ably represented by very senior lawyers in this matter, including senior advocates of Nigeria (SAN).
This petition did not emanate from them, and in any event, we believe if the allegations have substance, as the petitioners would want this committee to believe, it would have been ventilated before the honourable court before which this case is pending because they are alleging a case of contempt.
“If it is a case of contempt, as it is being alleged, I thought the appropriate forum to ventilate that issue should be before the honourable court other than being before this committee given the sub judice nature of this case.
The court made an order admitting him to bail on conditions which, to the best of our knowledge, are yet to fulfil the bail condition.
The correctional centre can confirm that he (Emefiele) is in their custody, ostensibly because of the reason of non-fulfilment of the bail condition.”