Lawyers in Defence of Democracy have expressed their displeasure with the State Security Services (SSS) for arresting and detaining the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, while allegedly neglecting to apprehend his principal and approving authority, former President Muhammadu Buhari. The SSS had previously attempted to arrest Emefiele in December but was stopped by the courts.

During a breakfast show on Arise Television, the Convener of Lawyers in Defence of Democracy, Kingdom Okere, accused the SSS of framing Emefiele and deemed the arrest illegal, as it violated a subsisting order from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court. Okere called for the dismissal of the Director General of the SSS, Yusuf Bichi, questioning the retention of Bichi when President Tinubu had removed the Service Chiefs.

Okere highlighted that the Lawyers in Defence of Democracy had been actively involved in this matter since December 7, 2022, when the SSS attempted to obtain an irregular ex parte application from the Federal High Court. He noted that a subsequent order of perpetual injunction was issued by Justice MA Hassan of the FCT High Court on December 29, 2022, restraining the SSS from bringing trumped-up charges of terrorism financing against Emefiele. Okere emphasized that the SSS had not appealed this decision, making any charges filed against Emefiele illegal.

Furthermore, Okere argued that Emefiele was only carrying out orders given to him by former President Muhammadu Buhari, suggesting that if there were any allegations against Emefiele, Buhari should also be held accountable. He criticized the SSS for taking over a month to file charges against Emefiele and mentioned that during their search of Emefiele’s house, they only found a small amount of cash and a license for a pump-action rifle.

Okere raised concerns about the SSS’s history of flouting court orders and engaging in unlawful invasions of people’s homes. He called on President Tinubu to fulfill his promise of upholding the rule of law and opposition politics by dismissing the DGSS, Yusuf Bichi. Okere suggested that Bichi’s retention could send the wrong signals to Nigerians and urged President Tinubu to find a more competent replacement.

The Lawyers in Defence of Democracy stressed the importance of upholding the rule of law and the equality of all individuals within the Federal Republic of Nigeria, regardless of their position or affiliations. They urged President Tinubu to take appropriate action and ensure that proper procedures are followed in the appointment of officials.