Human rights attorneys with Lawyers in Defense of Democracy (LIDD) have accused Yusuf Bichi, the director general of the Department of State Services (DSS), of operatives of the Federal High Court allegedly attacking members of the judiciary, attorneys, prison staff, and the media to obstruct prison staff from performing their duty of holding the arrested CBN Director-General, Godwin Emefiele, in custody in Ikoyi, Lagos, in accordance with an order of the Federal High Co.
The lawyers also denounced the secret police agents’ subsequent detention of Emefiele when he fought with members of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) in a cell.
After Nicholas Oweibo, a judge on the Lagos Federal High Court, granted Emefiele bail in the amount of N20 million, the secret police and prison authorities got into a fight over the latter’s decision to take possession of the controversial and detained Apex Bank manager.
Emefiele must remain in prison custody until the terms of his release on bail are fulfilled, the judge said.
Shortly after the sentencing, DSS operatives strategically positioned their Hilux pickup van, which they had earlier used to bring Emefiele to court, in a manner that suggested that they wanted to take him to their detention center.
When prison officials moved to take Emefiele into custody until his bail conditions were met, they were challenged by undercover police, leading to a free fight.
Eventually, the secret police officers took Emefiele into custody after a physical struggle with officials of the Nigerian Prison Service.
Reacting to what they called the rogue and vulgar behavior of the DSS operatives, the lawyers in a statement issued by their leader Barr. Okere Kingdom, called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to show his respect for the rule of law by suspending from office and ordering the DSS Director-General, Yusuf Bichi, to be arrested.
The lawyers insisted that the DSS has no constitutional basis to re-arrest Emefiele until he fulfills his bail conditions.
The statement says: “The DSS’s continued assault on the judiciary is unacceptable. We call on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to show his respect for the rule of law by arresting and ordering the arrest of the DSS Governor, Yusuf Bichi, for violating several judgments and court orders for the release of the detained Chairman of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, from the custody of the agency.
“What happened in court today is unacceptable, Bichi must be arrested and sent to prison. The secret police have a history of consistent disrespect for the rule of law. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu should save democracy and the image of the judiciary by immediately ordering the arrest of the Director General of the DSS.”