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DSS Re-arrest of Emefele is Not Illegal — Bauchi Based Legal Practitioner

 By Abdulwahab Muhammad, Bauchi

A Bauchi Based lawyer, Barrister Alkassim Mohammed, has said that the re-arrest of suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele by the Department of State Services (DSS) at the premises of the Federal High Court, Lagos, was legal.

The DSS arraigned Emefele on a two-count on a two-count charges of terrorism and illegal possession of firearms.

An earlier attempt by officials of Nigerian Correctional Services Centre (NCoS) into custody as ordered by the court led to a clash between officials of the DSS and the NCoS.

While several legal practitioners and Civil Societies Organisations ((NCoS)) condemned the action of the DSS in re-arresting Emefiele, the Bauchi based lawyer argued that the DSS did not break any law of the land.

 “In my opinion as a lawyer and private practitioner who reside in Bauchi, the DSS is an establishment of the law with specific functions and responsibilities under the National Security Agency Act,” Barrister Mohammed stated.

“Now under the National Security Agency Act, there are three agenncies that are involved in this particular act; the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and the DSS. 
“By law each of these agencies has a particular responsibility to carry including the DSS.

“In my view legally the act of the DSS in re-arresting Emefele does not violate any law of Nigeria.

“I cannot see that law where they say it has violated. 

“Assuming it was not DSS that rearrested Emefele, any of those agencies that I mentioned can also re-arrest him because section 3, sub sections a, b and c and section 4 of the National Security Agency Act has given powers to the State Security Service to maintain peace, prevention of crime internally.

“Emefele had been charged with series of offences before the federal high court and has been granted bail. Before the fulfilment of the bail any other agencies, even including the police, can re-arrest him on a different allegation.

“But the question here is assuming he was even tried, discharged and acquitted, immediately he came out of the court, any of the agencies of the government can re-arrest him on a different issue.

“So in my view the DSS were right to have taken that step in rearresting Emefele simply because everybody knows the atrocities alleged to have been committed by Emefele  which put Nigerians in distress condition and it was alleged that the used his office to sponsor IPOB. There are facts to that. The DSS cannot just arrest him without evidence.”

The legal practiotioner questioned the motive of the NCoS in the drama that ensued between the two federal government agencies.

“The question here is even as at the time the court granted him bail, making an order that he should be remanded in the correctional services, where was the correctional services? ,” he asked
“They were not part of the case and who called them? 

“They would have waited until the court officials, meaning the registrar of the court in collaboration with the DSS take Emefele to the Correctional Services Centre for proper custody before fulfilment of the bail conditions.

“Where were they at that time? 
“It seemed they had already arranged for that so that if he is taken to them and they would give him all the leverage in the correctional centre, give him all the facilities that will make his life normal, by even given him access to phone calls and lots of things.

“So people cannot fault the DSS for arresting Emefele. 

“They were right to have rearrested him. We salute the efforts of the DSS in handling the issue properly as a lawyer and a Nigerian who has the right under the constitution this is my position.” 

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