The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Correctional Service, Haliru Nababa, has dismissed allegations that the Department of State Services and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission attempted to forcefully abduct former Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, from the custody of the Nigeria Correctional Centre, Kuje, Abuja.
Nababa stated this while appearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions on Thursday following a petition by the Centre for Social Justice, Equity, and Transparency, accusing EFCC and DSS of a failed move to take the ex-CBN boss out of custody after he (Emefiele) was granted bail by a court of competent jurisdiction.
The Chairman of the Committee, Mike Etaba, however, dismissed the petition because it was sub judice when it came up for first hearing on Thursday.
This was as the Director, Legal and Prosecution Department of the EFCC, Sylvanus Tahir, SAN, urged the House to dismiss the petition as it bordered on a subsisting court matter.
Represented by the Assistant Controller-General in Charge of Operations, Nwakeze Emmanuel, Nababa said, “As far as we are concerned, we are not aware of any alleged attempt to forcefully release Emefiele. Emefiele is still in our custody, bubbling.
“This matter is in court. We can’t forget ahead with this matter because it is sub judice to us. This matter is hereby dismissed from this committee.”
Tahir had said earlier, “The petition which we perused borders on a pending court case. There is a subsisting criminal charge against Mr 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 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. 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 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 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 be fulfilled. The correctional centre can confirm that he (Emefiele) is in their custody ostensibly because of the reason of non-fulfilment of the bail condition.”
However, despite the denial of the allegation, a representative of CESJET, Mr Ahmed Tijani, showed pictorial images to the lawmakers portraying how EFCC operatives laid siege to the Kuje Correctional Centre to justify their claim.
The petitioners hinted that it would proceed by filing proceedings against executive rascality allegedly by the EFCC and DSS should there be a repeat of the same.
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