Godwin Emefiele, Nnamdi Kanu Arrested Arbitrarily As Pre-trial Detention Persists In Nigeria – Us Govt

The United States Government has said that Godwin Emefiele, the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra were examples of individuals arrested arbitrarily by security personnel.

The U.S noted that lengthy pre-trial detention has remained a problem, denying detainees access to a court and frustrating the country’s judicial system.

The U.S. Department of State disclosed this in its ‘2023 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Nigeria,’ published on its website on Tuesday.

It said that in the prosecution of corruption cases, law enforcement and intelligence agencies did not always follow due process, leading to the arrest of suspects without appropriate arrest and search warrants.

According to the report, the Department of State Services (DSS) detained the suspended CBN governor “for investigative reasons” on June 10 after which a Federal High Court in Lagos, on July 25, granted him bail and ordered he be held at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre until the bail was made.

“However, the DSS immediately attempted to arrest Emefiele again, and a fight reportedly broke out between DSS agents and Nigerian Correctional Service officers as each group tried to take Emefiele into custody,” the report stated.

Meanwhile, the former CBN governor was released on bail on November 8 before he was later charged with corruption.

Similarly, the report noted that the DSS continued to detain Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, a government-designated terrorist organisation on national security grounds.

“In 2017, Kanu fled abroad after skipping bail, but was arrested and returned to the country in 2021,” the report stated.

However, in 2022, an appeal court in Abuja dropped all charges against Kanu and ordered his release, which the federal government appealed.

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