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Court bars Police, EFCC, DSS from searching Gov Wike’s houses

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Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, on Wednesday secured a court order barring the Police from searching houses belonging to him.

The order which was extended to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Department of State Security Service, (DSS) was given by the Federal High Court Abuja.

The order was sequel to the suit which the governor filed before the court in 2017, praying it for an order of injunction restraining the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Police, the EFCC and the DSS from obtaining a search warrant to search any of his houses.

In his ruling on the matter, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, said that the defendants were in agreement that the plaintiff, Wike, could not be investigated based on the provision of Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution.

According to the judge, from the combined reading of Section 308 of the constitution, and sections 149 and 150 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act, (ACJA) 2015, three situations had been prohibited.

Noting that by the first provision that no civil or criminal proceedings shall be instituted against the plaintiff, Justice Mohammed added that a person covered by the provisions shall not be arrested, and thirdly, any process of court requiring appearance of a person protected under the provisions shall not be applied.

He therefore insisted that the parties in their submissions, lost the purport and intendment of section 308(1)(c) of the constitution.

He further said that a careful reading of section 308(1)(c) shows that the constitution has prohibited court process requiring the appearance of a serving governor before any investigative panel.

READ ALSO: Court orders plateau ex-gov, Jang to be remanded in prison custody

“The defendants cannot whether by themselves, their servants, agents, officers, privies or in any manner howsoever apply for, obtain, issue or in any way or manner howsoever execute any court process requiring; the appearance of the plaintiff who is currently the governor of Rivers.

“A declaration that by virtue of the combined effect of section 308 of the Constitution and sections 149 and 150 of ACJA, the defendants cannot in any manner apply for, obtain, issue or execute any search warrant at the residence of the plaintiff in Abuja or in any of the plaintiff’s residence in any other place or locations in Nigeria.

“An order that the defendants cannot by the combined effect of section 308 of the Constitution and sections 149 and 150 of ACJA, apply for, obtain, issue or execute any search warrant at the residence of the plaintiff in Abuja or in any of the plaintiff’s residence in any other place or locations in Nigeria,” the judge held.

 

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