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Federal High Court rules in favour of Sanusi, awards N50 million damages

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A Federal High Court in Lagos has restrained the Nigeria Police and the Department of State Services from arresting or harassing the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido.

The court also ordered the DSS to release Mr. Sanusi’s passport to him immediately while also awarding the embattled CBN boss N50 million in exemplary damages.

Mr. Sanusi’s passport was seized on February 20, as he arrived the Lagos international airport, hours after he was suspended as CBN Governor by President Goodluck Jonathan.

He was briefly detained as well.

Mr. Sanusi, in separate suits, challenged his suspension, and asked for an enforcement of his fundamental rights as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution.

The court had on February 21 granted an interim order, restraining the respondents from arresting, detaining, or harassing the applicant pending the determination of the substantive suit.

The interim order was sequel to an affidavit of urgency filed by the applicant on the same date.

On Monday, the court adjourned to April 4 ruling on the preliminary objection raised against the restraining order by the SSS and the police.

The court has now ruled, saying the government and its agencies have no basis to arrest or harass Mr. Sanusi. The court also frowned at the seizure of the CBN Governor’s travelling documents.

During the hearing of the rights’ suit, on Monday, the respondents � the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF; the Police; and the SSS � made different claims.

The agency SSS said it was investigating Mr. Sanusi for allegedly financing terrorism.

The SSS counsel, Moses Idakwo, said Mr. Sanusi’s interaction with SSS officials did not last for up to an hour and did not constitute a violation of his rights.

He said the provisions of Section 6 of the National Security Agencies’ Act empowered the Service to impound the international passport of suspects pending the conclusion of investigations.

It is not clear how this fresh allegation by the SSS is related to the dubious claims by Mr. Omokri.


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