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Emefiele Challenges Jurisdiction Of Lagos Court To Try Him

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has deferred till the end of trial, its ruling on the application filed by the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to try him on the charges brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Through his lawyer, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olalekan Ojo, Emefiele submitted that he cannot be tried in the high court of any state in Nigeria for alleged acts of abuse of his office as this raises issues of constitutionality and legality.

The former CBN governor also noted that counts 1-4 of the 26 counts charge filed by the EFCC against him are unconstitutional as they are not contained in any law in Nigeria.

His counsel asked the court to make an order striking out counts one to four of the charge on the grounds that:

  1. the Honourable Court has no jurisdiction to try the offence of abuse of office in relation to the office of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria which the 1st Defendant occupied at all times material to the commission of the offences and
  2. The 1st Defendant’s/Applicant’s acts said to constitute arbitrary acts resulting in abuse of office are not offences known to law as mandatorily required by section 36(12) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.

The EFCC through its counsel, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Rotimi Oyedepo, however, countered these arguments.

Citing decided cases of the Supreme Court, he asked the trial judge, Justice Rahman Oshodi, not to defer or prevent the trial of the case on the basis of objections challenging the particulars of the counts of the information.

“That approach is intended to take us back to where we are coming from as this were the basis for Section 1 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA and the purpose for which Administration of Criminal Justice Law, ACJL was intended. The intention of our collective resolution as a nation was to to prevent undue delay in our criminal cases.

“I urge my lord to refuse this invitation, trial has commenced, this application to prevent the trial today is unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional and I urge the court not to depart from the decision of the apex court as to do so would amount to judicial rascality,” Oyedepo stated.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=95376

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