Popular human rights lawyer and activist Femi Falana has stated that Nigerian courts should stop ordering the arrest and detention of citizens given what has happened in the case of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.
A Federal High Court in Abuja had refused to grant the ex-parte application by the Department of State Service (DSS) for the arrest and detention of the CBN Governor, something that Falana says does not apply to the average Nigerian.
According to Falana, the court refused to grant the application in Emefiele's case because of his social status.
He then went on to advise judges to stop granting any ex-parte order without giving the person concerned the benefit of defending himself.
“I want to congratulate Mr Godwin Emefiele for his temporary legal victory whereby the court refused to grant the application of DSS to arrest and detain him.
“He’s been lucky in the sense that on a daily basis, several ex-parte orders have been made in our courts authorizing the detention of people that I regard as the flotsam and the jetsam of the society.
“But in his own case, because of his social status, the court refused to grant the application.
"I, therefore, call on our judges to; number one, entertain and assign all fundamental human rights applications with dispatch because there is equality before the law.
“Two; on no ground should our courts order the arrest and detention of any citizen on the basis of an ex-parte application.
"I want to believe that our courts will now adopt the policies of saying, ‘Put the person you want me to detain on notice so that he can be given the opportunity to challenge the ex-parte application.’
"I think we are drawing lessons from what is going on”, Falana stated.
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