Justice John Tsoho, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, has denied the Department of State Services’ request to detain Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, on terrorism-related charges.

The Chief Judge characterized the lawsuit as an illegal operation and scheme to trick the court into granting a frivolous order in order to aid in the arrest and deprivation of personal liberty of an innocent man.

Justice Tsoho rendered a decision in the case FHC/ABJ/CS/2255/2022 between the State Security Service (the applicant) and Godwin Emefiele (the respondent), stating that the entire affidavit depositions, particularly as per paragraph 4 of the supporting affidavit, which purports that preliminary investigation has revealed various acts of financing terrorism, fraudulent activities committed by the respondent, and his involvement in economic crimes of national security dimension.

Journalists in Abuja were able to receive a copy of the decision on Tuesday. The applicant should have taken the court into confidence while asking for the court to exercise its discretion in favor of granting its application, the Chief Judge said, adding that while there was no doubt that these were serious allegations, the applicant had not provided any specific evidence to support them.

The Chief Judge denied the motion and determined that, if the applicant still intended to pursue this application, it should put the Respondent on Notice in light of the Sensitive Public Office that he holds.

“It is my respectful view that the Applicant’s ipse dixit standing alone, is not adequate evidence upon which to deprive a person of his liberty,” the judge stated.