In a recent ruling, the Federal Capital Territory High Court has dismissed a fundamental human rights suit filed by Sa’adatu Yaro, a staff member of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), against the Department of State Services (DSS). The suit was aimed at securing the release of her six exotic cars that were seized by the secret police on July 12, as well as obtaining bail from her ongoing detention.
The case emerged within the context of the N6.9 billion procurement fraud allegations directed at the suspended CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele. Yaro, named as the second defendant in this high-profile case, was notably absent during the trial’s scheduled commencement, leading to a delay.
Acting through her lawyer, J.B Daudu SAN, Yaro lodged a motion on notice marked FCT/HC/CV/6918/23. This motion sought the court’s declaration that her arrest on July 12, 2023, her husband’s detention, and the confiscation of her luxury vehicles were a violation of her fundamental human rights.
Daudu, in his arguments, emphasized that the Department of State Services, lacking the status of an anti-graft agency, did not possess the jurisdiction or statutory powers to delve into the business affairs of the applicant. He asserted that the continuous detention and alleged mistreatment by the DSS since July 12th violated Yaro’s constitutional Rights to Dignity of Human Person and Personal Liberty, as guaranteed by Sections 34 and 35 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
However, the court’s decision ultimately sided with the Department of State Services, resulting in the dismissal of Yaro’s suit. This verdict has added another layer of complexity to the ongoing legal proceedings concerning the N6.9 billion procurement fraud case and has drawn attention to the delicate balance between individual rights and national security concerns.