HomeNewsFormer CBN Governor Faces Human Rights Abuse in Nigeria, US Group Says

Former CBN Governor Faces Human Rights Abuse in Nigeria, US Group Says

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Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, is being subjected to human rights violations in his ongoing trial in Nigeria, according to a group of Nigerian academics in the United States.

The Conference of Nigerian Intellectuals in the US, led by its President, Dr. Philips Idris, issued a statement on Monday, expressing concern over the handling of the case against Emefiele by the Economics and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Department of State Services (DSS).

The group described Emefiele’s detention as “illegal and fiendish” and accused the Nigerian government of disobeying court orders for his release.

Emefiele is facing charges of fraud and corruption in relation to the award of N1.2bn vehicle supply contracts during his tenure as CBN governor. His trial recently commenced in the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja, with witnesses reportedly clearing him of any wrongdoing.

The group cited Article 9 of the United Nations Human Rights, which states that “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.” They also noted that the International Law of Human Rights obliges governments to respect and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups.

They claimed that there has been a systematic abuse of the rule of law and disregard for the rights of innocent Nigerians since the new administration of President Asiwaju came to power, using Emefiele as a case study.

The Group alleged that Emefiele’s persecutors are bent on destroying him for performing his statutory duties as CBN governor and that they are willing to break any law to achieve their aim.

“As concerned citizens in the diaspora, we have decided to draw the attention of the international community to the new reign of terror back home. Our dear country seems to be heading back to dictatorship,” the statement read.

Based on a report by Punch, the group urged the Nigerian government to do the right thing and free Emefiele. They also warned the EFCC not to erode the confidence of the international community in doing business with Nigeria by violating the rights of perceived opponents of the Asiwaju administration11.

They said they would stage a peaceful protest in the US and another by their sister organization in London on Monday (next week) if their plea is ignored.

The Nigerian government has not responded to the allegations made by the group.

Emefiele served as CBN governor from 2014 to 2019. He is widely credited for stabilizing the Nigerian economy and implementing policies that boosted the agricultural sector and reduced the dependence on oil.

He is also regarded as a champion of financial inclusion and empowerment of the poor and marginalized groups in Nigeria.

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