Lagos Court strikes out firearms charge against Emefiele

The firearm charges levelled against the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has been struck out by a Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday

This ruling by Justice Nicholas Oweibo was due to lack of diligent prosecution, following the withdrawal application made by the Director of Public Prosecution of the Ministry of Justice, Mohammed Abubakar.

Oweibo held that the withdrawal of the case is found in Section 108 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, (ACJA) which empowers him to withdraw the charge and no there was no requirement for the application to be in writing.

Justice Oweibo said, “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?

“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

The DPP has made an oral application to the court to withdraw the charge against Emefiele at the last adjourned date

Abubakar disclosed that the application was made due to emerging facts and for circumstances that need for further investigations

Consequently, he urged the court to grant the application.

On 25 July, Mr Emefiele was arraigned on a two-count charge of “illegal possession” of firearms and live ammunition.

He was also granted bail of N20 million. However, in violation of the court order asking that he be detained at the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) pending fulfilment of hisbail conditions, the SSS rearrested Mr Emefiele immediately he stepped out of the courtroom.

He was rearrested after officials of the two federal agencies engaged in fisticuffs over his custody

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