Nigerian government has no respect for court, says Judge

A Federal High Court Judge in Lagos, Justice Nicholas Oweibo, has declared that the Bola Tinubu administration is not law abiding and has no respect for court, following his ruling on the illegal possession of firearms and ammunition charges against the suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele

Penpushing reports that the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) on Tuesday at the Federal Ministry of Justice, Abubakar Mohammed, had filed an oral application seeking the withdrawal of the two-count charge.

The prosecutor informed the judge that government decision to withdraw the charges against the embattled Emefiele was informed by emerging facts and circumstances of the case which require closer investigation.

‘The prosecution has shown that they are not law abiding and have no respect for the court. The court cannot force them. What good will it be for the defendant who is in custody? Of what benefit will it be to keep the file in the court’s docket?”, the judge said

“To stop the embarrassment of the court and to keep its integrity intact, I believe the proper thing is to allow them withdraw the charge. They can simply abandon it and the court will still have to strike it out for lack of diligent prosecution. The application to withdraw is hereby granted.”

Penpushing further reports that Mohammed later told journalists that the government will probably come back with more charges, more counts against the accused person, while it is recalled that on 25 July 2023, Emefiele was arraigned on a two-count charge of illegal possession of firearms and live ammunition.

The Nigeria Government had accused Emefiele of possessing a single- barrel shotgun (JOJEFF MAGNUM 8371) without a licence, an offence contrary to section 4 of the Firearms Act Cap F28 Laws of the Federation 2004 and punishable under Section 27 (1b) of the same Act.

Penpushing also reports that Emefiele was equally accused of having in his possession 123 rounds of live ammunition (cartridges) without a licence, which is contrary to section 8 of the Firearms Act Cap F28 Laws of the Federation 2004 and punishable under Section 27 (1) (b) (il) of the same Act.

The former apex bank boss had pleaded not guilty to the charge, a development which made the court grant him bail in the sum of N20 million and ordered that he be remanded with the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS).

Penpushing reports that contrary to the order the State Security Service (SSS) flouted it, but in response the Nigerian Government explained to journalists that the security agency did not disobey the court order but certain administrative processes slowed down compliance.

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