The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has again condemned the raid carried out by the Operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS) on private residences of some Federal Court Judges as “National Disaster”.

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike

Wike, who was represented at the ongoing public hearing at the National Assembly by the Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice in Rivers State, Emmanuel Chinwenwo Aguma (SAN), argued that the DSS did not act within the ambit of law.

“Nobody is out to defend ‘rogue’ Judges, but things must be done within the ambit of law”, he said.

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The submission made on behalf of the Governor revealed that, a large number of armed Officers of the SSS stormed the residences of Justice Abdullahi Liman and Justice Uche Agomuo at “unholy hour”.

He said even though the DSS said it was acting on “orders from above”, the operatives were confused as to whose house they were to raid.

“The Governor was taken aback by the presence of so many DSS operatives and His Excellency queried the propriety of invading the Judges’ residences at such an unholy hour.

“His Excellency was not aware of the particular Judge whose property the armed men were invading or to arrest, but was baffled that it took such huge number of operatives to arrest a Judge or Judges.

“This put the Governor on enquiry as His Excellency doubted the propriety, legality and legitimacy of the action”, the memo reads in part.

He further revealed that the Governor queried the propriety of the action of the Operatives which made one of them to put a call across to the Director of SSS in Rivers State, who swiftly arrived the scene.

He also disclosed that the Commissioner of Police also arrived the scene 2 hours later.

The Attorney-General however shocked the audience when he revealed that an “Operative of the SSS, junior in rank to the Director SSS ordered the Governor to leave the scene or he would be shot.”

“That same Operative assaulted His Excellency, the Governor, in the presence of his superiors who have not disciplined the said Operative till date”.

“The lawless conduct of the DSS operatives and police officers in the full glare of a large crowd that had now gathered created doubts in His Excellency, the Governor as to the true reason/objective of the Security Officers.

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“His Excellency’s suspicions were heightened by the fact that the so-called ‘SSS Operatives’ did not even know the particular residence of the Judge they had come to arrest.

“This seemed strange as the DSS office in Port Harcourt shares a boundary fence with the residence of one of the Judges”, he added.

On whether the SSS has the locus standi to carry out such raids on the Judges, Wike submitted that “the instruments that establish the SSS and define its functions make it plain and clear that the cardinal responsibilityof the SSS is ‘internal security’.

“Every other responsibility, whether under the Act or the instrument, revolves around internal security of the nation. It is an intelligence gathering agency.

“It is, therefore, outside the duties of the DSS to dabble into the traditional roles of the Police Force in the prevention, investigation and prosecution of crime, and the maintenance of law and order, where such crime or acts do not threaten the internal security of the nation”.

He concluded that the action of the DSS on the 8th of October, 2016 is counter-productive, adding that “the action in Port Harcourt, Abuja and other parts of the country in which the DSS demystified the Judiciary in itself poses a threat to the internal security of the nation”.

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