Justice Olukayode Adeniyi of the FCT High Court has ordered the federal government and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to pay N100 million in damages to the suspended former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Emefiele, for rights violations.
Mr. Emefiele had taken legal action against the federal government, Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), and EFCC, asserting violations of his fundamental rights to life, personal liberty, fair hearing, and freedom of movement.
He sought the court’s declaration that his prolonged detention by the EFCC since June 10, 2023, and subsequent transfer to the custody of other respondents on October 26, 2023, without being arraigned, is unlawful.
Emefiele argued that the respondent’s non-compliance with valid court orders for his release constitutes a serious violation of his constitutional rights.
Among other relief sought, he requested an injunction preventing further arrests or detentions without proper criminal charges after his release.
Additionally, Emefiele sought damages of N1 billion for the violation of his fundamental rights.
In a decisive move, Justice Adeniyi found in favor of Emefiele, awarding him N100 million in damages. The judgment highlights the significance of upholding individuals’ fundamental rights, emphasizing the consequences of disregarding legal processes.
This ruling may have broader implications for how law enforcement agencies handle detentions and underscores the importance of adherence to constitutional principles. It sets a precedent for holding authorities accountable when fundamental rights are violated, emphasizing the role of the judiciary in safeguarding citizens’ liberties.