From Godwin Tsa , Abuja.
Respite came the way of detained former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele as a High Court of the Federal Capital(FCT) on Wednesday granted him bail.
After spending 151 days in custody, Justice Olukayode Adeiyi said Emefiele had stayed in government custody beyond the time frame stipulated by law.
Among other conditions attached to his bail, the former CBN governor must be released to his counsel, Matthew Burkaa (SAN), who must produce him in court any time the Federal government chooses to arraign him.
In addition, Emefiele is to deposit his travelling documents with the registrar of the court pending his arraignment.
Emefiele’s freedom came with stiff opposition from the Federal Government, the Attorney General of the Federation AGF and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC).
Besides, Justice Adeniyi also predicated his decision on the fact that the Federal Government had completed investigation into the allegations against the former CBN Chief and had even prepared the charged against him as far as August this year.
In a ruling on the application for bail argued by Mathew Burkaa (SAN), Justice Adeniyi held that it is in the best interest of justice and fair play especially the provision of section 35 of Nigeria’s Constitution to follow the rule of law.
The Judge specifically said that thete must be an end to detention without trial by the federal holiday.
Both the Federal Government, and AGF re-presented by Oyin Koleoso had strongly objected to Emefiele’ s request for bail on the ground that he would interfere with the November 15 arraignment but did not tell the court how the interference would be done.
EFCC on its part through its counsel, Farouk Abudalla insisted that Emefiele had not spent three months in its own custody and urged the Court to refuse the bail request.
Counsel to the applicant however punctured the opposition of the Federal Government adding that the claim of likelihood of interference in arraignment was speculative because his client was not declared a flight risk.
He told Justice Ademiyi to disregard the claim of EFCC that Emefiele was brought to its custody only October 26.
The Senior lawyer informed the Court that the former CBN boss was investigated by a team of inter Ministerial Investigators from EFCC, Police and Department of the State Security Service DSSS which jointly constituted government agency.