By Ijeoma Popoola, NAN
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on Thursday, adjourned until Aug. 15 for hearing of an application seeking to stop prosecution of the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.
The court will also, on the same day, entertain an application by the Federal Government seeking to appeal the bail granted Emefiele by the court on July 25.
Justice Nicholas Oweibo gave the date to enable defence to reply to prosecution’s further counter-affidavit to its application.
The counter-affidavit was served on defence just before Thursday’s proceedings.
Oweibo held that prosecution’s application was ripe for hearing but defence had yet to respond to the further counter-affidavit served it in court on Thursday.
The judge, therefore, said that the two applications would be taken jointly on Aug. 15.
Earlier, prosecution counsel, Mrs K. A. Fagbemi, told the court that prosecution’s application filed on Aug. 3 had been served on the defence which, she said, had responded.
However, defence counsel, Mr Victor Opara (SAN), submitted that the application was not ripe for hearing.
“Our conception is that, by reason of principle of priority of applications, our application is superior,’’ he said.
Opara also lleged that prosecution had consistency disobeyed the order of the court and should not be allowed to move its application.
Fagbemi then said that, by the principle of priority, the prosecution’s application came first and was ripe for hearing.
She urged the court to hear the application.
After listening to the arguments, Oweibo held that both applications would be taken on the same day.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in its application filed on Aug. 3, the Federal Government is seeking leave to appeal against the July 25 ruling by Oweibo in which he granted Emefiele bail.
The Federal Government also asked the court to stay execution of its order remanding Emefiele in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service and to make an order remanding him, instead, in the custody of the State Security Service.
In his application dated Aug. 7 and filed on Aug. 8, Emefiele is praying the court to stop the Federal Government from further prosecuting him on the charge of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition or any other charge.
Emefiele’s application is also seeking an order of the court discharging him of all charges brought against him by the government.
He claimed that the government was disobeying a subsisting order of the court granting him bail on July 25 and, therefore, could not lawfully prosecute him.
The application filed through his lawyers led by Mr Joseph Daudu (SAN) is pursuant to Section 6(6)(a) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and some sections of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.