By Ed Malik, A | December 22, 2022

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), Nigeria’s prominent civil rights advocacy group, on Tuesday, called for the urgent arrest of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, for several mind-bending allegations of sleaze and abuse of office, saying he is not above the law.

Further, HURIWA called out the motley assemblage of nameless coalition of civil society organizations who have assailed the public space in defence of the apex bank’s chief to prevent his arrest even when they have not bothered to get the details of the humongous allegations of financial impropriety against him, which will be evident moral baggage for the CBN operations under his leadership, if the investigation is obstructed by any hired group or persons.

HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, warned that the coalition convened by one ‘Unknown Activist’ Tochukwu Ohazuruike, has NO right to gaslight the judiciary into acquiescence by their shameful noisemaking and sponsored alarmist propaganda.

HURIWA also condemned the protest staged by some hirelings on Monday who stormed a Federal High Court in Abuja to kick against a suit filed by the Department of State Services against Emefiele, saying they are “traditional Protest Contractors”, always willing and ready to do dirty jobs for corrupt government officials and rogue politicians.

A federal high court sitting in Abuja declined an application by the DSS to arrest and detain Emefiele. The presiding judge, Justice JT Tsoho, at the preliminary hearing said the secret police did not provide any concrete evidence to substantiate its claims that Emefiele was involved in terrorism financing and economic crimes.

However the DSS fired back through its Spokesperson, Peter Afunanya on Monday and said the Agency will not be distracted by those seeking to use “propaganda” to undermine its lawful investigations.

HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “We condemn the alarm raised by the so-called coalition of CSOs protesting the planned arrest of CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele over alleged financial misappropriation. It is important to note that the so-called Coalition which exists only in their pockets are essentially sponsored to truncate the RULE OF LAW. Their action is a harassment of the judiciary and this is totally condemned.

“For instance, a member of the House of Representatives, Muhammed Kazaure raised the alarm of alleged theft of stamp duty proceeds running into about N89 trillion, saying he is in possession of valid documents that prove the existence of such funds in CBN custody. Also, a recent report showed a court document that displayed that some government officials under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration hid N70trn in 29 banks while the CBN under Emefiele and the Attorney General of the Federation looked the other way, making them straightly complicit in the alleged graft subject to solid defence to be offered by them.

“The CBN Governor is not above the law and that if any such a suit exists then let the court of law decides. The DSS should not be distracted by these meddlesome interlopers and busybodies but to work in line with the dictate of the law and not be swayed by any ulterior motives or pander to political considerations. For as long as the Rule of Law is followed, there is absolutely no need for anyone who is not guilty to cry wolf since Nigeria is not North Korea whereby Judges and the judiciary are in the pockets of the diminutive dictator.”

“Nigeria is a nation governed by law and under no circumstances should persons constitute a cog to the wheel of justice under any guise. Let all agencies of government follow the due process of the law and let all accused persons remain innocent in the eyes of the law until found guilty by a court of law and on no account should rabble rousers or commercial noise makers be procured to harass the judiciary on behalf of their temporary pay masters”, averred HURIWA.

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