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EFCC Should Be The Only One To Investigate And Try Emefiele Not DSS – Falana


According to human rights attorney Femi Falana (SAN), the Department of State Services lacks the legal authority to look into and bring charges against suspended Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele.

In a message given to our correspondent on Sunday, Falana argued that Emefiele should be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, which has the authority to bring charges against Emefiele.

“A few months ago, the State Security Service levelled grave allegations of terrorism financing, money laundering, and other economic crimes against Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. At the material time, the attempt by the SSS to arrest, investigate, and prosecute Mr Emefiele was frustrated by the erstwhile Buhari administration.

“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 yesterday (Saturday).

“According to media reports, the  investigation of the suspect by the SSS has commenced. Even though the SSS initially denied the arrest, it has since turned round to admit that Mr Emefiele is in its custody.

“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.

“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 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,” Falana said.