A Federal High Court in Lagos has struck out firearm charges against the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.
The charges were withdrawn by the Director of Public Prosecution of the Ministry of Justice, Mohammed Abubakar, who said the application was “informed by imaging facts and for circumstances that need further investigations.”
Justice Nicholas Oweibo, who granted the application, said the prosecution had failed to diligently prosecute the case.
Emefiele was arrested in May 2022 on charges of illegal possession of firearms. He was released on bail a few days later.
The charges against him were based on a search warrant that was executed at his residence in Abuja in April 2022. The warrant was issued by a magistrate court in Abuja.
The search warrant authorized the police to search Emefiele’s residence for firearms and ammunition. The police said they found four pump-action rifles, three single-barrel guns, and 50 live cartridges during the search.
Emefiele denied the charges against him, saying the guns were licensed. He also said the police did not have a search warrant when they searched his residence.
The case was adjourned several times before the DPP made the application to withdraw the charges.
The court’s decision to strike out the charges against Emefiele is a major victory for him. It also raises questions about the evidence that the police had against him.