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Wike sues police over attempt to search his house for firearms

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Ramon Oladimeji

The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has sued the police over the alleged move to search his house in Abuja for huge cash sums, believed to be proceeds of crime, firearms and wrist watches.

Also joined as defendants in the suit filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja are the Inspector-General of Police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Department of State Services.

The governor said he had it on good authority that the defendants had already or were making moves to obtain a search warrant to carry out the planned search on his home at Ortega Close, Hassan Usman Katsina Street, Asokoro Extension, Abuja.

According to him, the defendants were also making moves to search his other houses, including those in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

But he is contending in the suit filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja through his lawyer, Mr. Sylva Ogwemoh (SAN), that such a search would violate his immunity as a sitting governor.

He wants the court to restrain the defendants from giving effect to the allegedly planned search of his homes.

His lawyer, Ogwemoh, claimed that such a search could not be conducted by the defendants without violating Section 308 of the constitution, which conferred immunity on his client as a sitting governor.

He asked the court to determine “whether the defendants can by the combined effect of section 308 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and sections 149 (1) and 150 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 apply for, obtain, issue or, in any manner or form, effectively execute a search warrant” at the residence of his client Wike’s “physical presence of the Plaintiff or his privy in the course of the execution of such search warrant.”

He wants the court to “restrain the defendants whether by themselves, their servants, agents, officers or privies from applying for, issuing, entering upon the residence of the plaintiff in Abuja or anywhere else in Nigeria by virtue of a search warrant or any court process whatsoever which shall compel or require the physical presence of the plaintiff who is currently the Governor of Rivers State, Nigeria  in order to search the said residence of the plaintiff and to remove from such residence/premises any items whatsoever during the tenure of the plaintiff as Governor of Rivers State, Nigeria, in contravention of the plaintiff’s immunity as preserved by section 308 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).”

The court has yet to fix a date to hear the suit.‎

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