Congress panel head Eteba scolds the EFCC and jail officials for the attempt to kidnap Emefiele.

Congress panel head Eteba scolds the EFCC and jail officials for the attempt to kidnap Emefiele.The Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS) and the Economies and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were questioned yesterday by Mr. Mike Eteba, the chairman of the House of Representatives committee on public petitions, regarding an alleged attempt to kidnap Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in violation of existing legal provisions.

After the court granted Emefiele bail, the Center for Social Justice, Equity And Transparency (CESJET) filed a petition against the EFCC, the Directorate of State Services (DSS), and NCS about the incident at the Kuje Correctional Center.

When the petition was brought up, NCS representatives denied any role in the incident, and the EFCC counterpart also denied any involvement in the botched kidnapping scheme.

In order to support their argument, CESJET spokesperson Mr. Ahmed Tijani showed the lawmakers visual proof of how EFCC agents actually besieged the Kuje prison.

After the CESJET's attorney pushed on establishing their case despite the EFCC and prison officials' denials, the panel sessions nearly descended into chaos.

This was due to Sylvanus Tahir SAN, the Director of the EFCC's Legal and Prosecution Department, stating that it was improper to consider the petition because it touched on an ongoing legal dispute.

"As far as we are concerned, we are not aware of any alleged attempt to forcefully release Dr. Emefiele," stated Nababa, who was represented by Nwakeze Emmanuel, the Assistant Controller-General in Charge of Operations. Emefiele, who is bubbling, is still under our care.

Tahir, an attorney for the EFCC, had earlier stated, "The petition which we perused borders on a pending court case." Mr. Godwin Emefiele is the subject of an ongoing criminal charge, which the petitioners have filed on his behalf.

In any case, we believe that if the petitioners' allegations had merit—as they claim—they would have been brought before the honorable court where this case is pending. Therefore, I'm wondering if it is appropriate given that it borders on an ongoing court matter for this committee to delve into the matter more through a public hearing. Mr. Emefiele is ably represented by very senior lawyers in this matter, including senior advocates of Nigeria (SAN), and this petition did not originate from them.

Given the sub judice nature of this case, I believed that the honorable court would be a more appropriate forum to discuss this matter if it is a case of contempt as it is being asserted, rather than this committee.To the best of our knowledge, the conditions imposed by the court's order to be admitted on bail have not yet been fulfilled. The correctional facility is able to verify that Emefiele is under their care, purportedly due to his failure to comply with the terms of his bail.

Thus, the panel chairman instructed the former CBN Governor's attorneys to go to court and file charges of contempt if the EFCC takes any further action or if they firmly believe that the court's order has been broken.

Speaking to the media, the petitioners' attorney is adamant that there was a real attempt to kidnap Mr. Emefiele from his rightful place of custody.

Should the illegality of November 22, 2023, recur, CESJET suggested that it would move forward by commencing an action against executive rascality by the EFCC and DSS.

Tijani criticized the DSS and EFCC for their habit of disobeying court orders, pointing out that the organizations have disregarded multiple court orders granted Emefiele bail.

He said, "We are here to report the alleged attempt by EFCC to forcibly remove Emefiele from the Correctional Center, not to challenge the matter in court."

Haliru Nababa, the Controller General of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS), refuted on Thursday the allegations made by the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) regarding their joint attempt to kidnap Godwin Emefiele, the former Governor of the Central Bank, by force while he was being held at the Nigeria Correctional Centre in Kuje, Abuja.

He made this statement during his appearance before the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions. The Center for Social Justice, Equity, and Transparency had filed a petition in which it claimed that the DSS and EFCC had tried to forcibly remove Emefiele from detention.

However, when the petition was brought up for its initial hearing on Thursday, Committee Chairman Hon. Mike Etaba denied it, citing sub judice.


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