Francesca Iwambe – Abuja
Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court in Abuja has barred the police, the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from searching houses belonging to Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state.
Justice Mohammed who gave the order on Wednesday while delivering in the suit instituted by Wike praying the court to restrain the police from searching his houses held that a search warrant could not be issued against a governor because he enjoys immunity under section 308 of the constitution.
The Sketch online recalls that Governor Wike had in 2017 approached the court, seeking an order of injunction restraining the IGP, the police, the EFCC and DSS from obtaining a search warrant to search any of his houses.
But the defendants had in opposition, argued that they had the right to search Wike’s residence even in his absence.
While delivering his judgement, the judge noted that the defendants were in agreement that Wike, the plaintiff, could not be investigated based on the provision of section 308 of the 1999 constitution.
He contended in the suit filed through Sylvia Ogwemoh, his lawyer, that such a search would violate his immunity as a sitting governor.
Wike had asked for six reliefs but the judge granted three and said while one was not grantable, the others were embedded in the ones granted.
“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,” he held.
“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.”