The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has vowed to appeal a court ruling that awarded N100 million damages to a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, over his detention by the anti-graft agency.
Emefiele, who served as the CBN governor from 2014 to 2019, was arrested by the EFCC in December 2023 for alleged financial crimes. He was detained for several days before he was granted bail by a court.
However, on Monday, January 8, 2024, Justice O.A. Adeniyi of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court ruled that the EFCC violated Emefiele’s right to liberty by detaining him without a valid court order. The judge ordered the EFCC to pay Emefiele N100 million as compensation for the unlawful detention.
The EFCC, in a press statement signed by its Head of Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, expressed dissatisfaction with the judgment, saying that it failed to take cognizance of the fact that Emefiele was held with a valid order of court. The statement added that the EFCC would approach the Court of Appeal to set aside the ruling.
“The EFCC is not deterred by the judgment and will continue to pursue its mandate of fighting corruption in Nigeria. Emefiele is not above the law and will be held accountable for his actions while in office,” the statement read.
The EFCC had accused Emefiele of mismanaging the nation’s foreign reserves and facilitating illicit financial flows during his tenure as the CBN governor. Emefiele has denied the allegations, saying that he acted in the best interest of the country.