No fewer than 60 lawyers have dragged Department of State Services (DSS) to a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, wanting the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele released from detention and the DSS boss, Yusuf Bichi jailed for contempt of court.
The lawyers said that the suit was hinged on what they described as violation of multiple judgments and orders of court directing the agency to release Emefiele.
The lawyers, led by Maxwell Opara and Ahmed Tijani, prayed the court to commit the DSS boss to prison until the department clears itself of contempt.
The lawyers filed a motion before the court for the issuance of Form 48 and Form 49, which are the forms used to commence proceedings to commit a contemnor to prison.
The lawyers said that by the judgments and orders of Justice M. A. Hassan, Justice Hamza Muazu and Justice Bello Kawu, the DSS Director -General ought to have released Emefiele from detention.
In an affidavit in support of the application, the lawyers deposed to the fact that Justice Hassan had restrained the respondents, particularly, the DSS from arresting, detaining, or interrogating Emefiele.
This was with regards to offences connected to terrorism financing, money laundering, round tripping and financial crimes of national security dimension.
They also deposed that despite the clear and positive orders of the court, the DSS went ahead to arrest and detain Emefiele and had detained him for over a month while shopping for evidence, which did not exist.
Addressing newsmen after filing their processes, Opara said that the group would pursue the matter to its logical conclusion and ensure that the DSS boss, Yusuf Bichi is sent to prison.
He said that it will serve as a deterrent to other heads of security agencies that disobey court orders, to show that such would no longer be tolerated.
Opara said that it is preposterous that the DSS had accused Emefiele of having committed heinous crimes against the state only for it to now file a charge of possession of a validly registered pump action rifle against him.
“Is it not clear enough to Nigerians that the DSS is persecuting Emefiele if after holding him for five weeks they can only file a ridiculous charge of possessing a validly registered pump action gun?
“This clearly shows that the travail of Emefiele is more for political reasons than for any other.”