GOVERNOR WIKE PREVENTS THE POLICE, DSS FROM ARRESTING A JUDGE; REMOVES $2.1 MILLION EVIDENCE FROM JUDGE’S HOUSE TO COVER A CRIME
In a move that has become the talk of the moment and has also been described as a breach of the Governor’s Oath of Allegiance to the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike in the early hours of Saturday (today) prevented a joint operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigerian Police from arresting a Federal High Court judge residing at No. 35 Forces Avenue in Port Harcourt. The allegations, among others, were that the High Court Judge was in possession of huge sums of foreign currency ($2.1million cash) which he had alleged received from the Governor of Rivers State and that the Judge’s account was involved in some suspicious transactions with some notorious militants that are injurious to national security.
According to our sources, due to the sensitive nature and the status of the person involved in the alleged offence, the Director of the Department of State Services (DSS) Mr. Tosin Ajayi and Police Commissioner, Mr Francis Odesanya in Rivers State led the operation. The Judge on noticing the operatives, who had introduced and identified themselves to the Judge and his personal Police Security, immediately reached the Governor through is Chief of Staff. One of the sources added “our oga, the judge called the Attorney General and the Chief of Staff to let the Governor know that some SSS men came to search his house, but before we knew what was going on, the Governor came and stopped the search”
Another sources said: “the Governor dey there until all the Police and CID people go finish. We come help my Oga bring down some dollars from him bed room. I hear my Oga dey tell the Governor say na 2.1USD only”. He added, “I never see this kind thing before. Police come search Judge house. Everybody and even my Oga just dey fear for this kind thing.”
A Police Source, who was part of the Governor’s security said he was a bit taken aback by the Governor’s behaviour. The Governor according to him was “physically restraining” law enforcement officers from carrying out their duty. The Governor was also alleged to have “held a firearm bearing DSS operative by his shirt just to cease the operative and prevent him from doing his duty and in the process of removing the Governor’s hand from the DSS operative, the Governor scratched his hand on the operatives firearm and sustained minor abrasion”
Meanwhile, the Governor in a Press Statement issued today by his Special Assistant on Electronic Media, Mr. Simeon Nwakaudu, admitted the incident.
According to the statement “the security operatives blocked the entrance of the residence of the Federal High Court judge at about 1am on saturday morning, claiming that they were acting on orders from above. As they dragged Governor Wike, they insisted that they must be allowed to leave with the judge.”
Even though some parts of Governor Wike’s Press Statement was specific and definite on “the Federal High Court Judge in question”, some other parts quotes the Governor as denying knowledge of the exact Judge in question. “Not under my watch wiĺl I allow this kind of impunity to take place. That is why we are here. I don’t know which judge they were detailed to abduct. I didn’t bother myself to know which judge. All I am interested in is that, at this level, it is not allowed.”
He added. “He is not a criminal and he is not an armed robber. If the person has committed an offence, invite him. It is only when he refuses to honour the invitation that you can adopt this commando style.”
The Rivers State Police Commissioner, Francis Odesanya who addressed some journalists at the scene said the two security agencies were at the scene based on privileged information and their preliminary investigations. However, he declined comments on the exact nature of the “privileged information”. On the hand, the Director of DSS simply decline comment.
Meanwhile a DSS source gave information that “the DSS obtained a Search Warrant from a Magistrate to search the premises, No.35 Forces Avenue with anyone found on it”, but refused to confirm if the Magistrate knew that the search warrant was to be executed on a Judge.
The DSS may not have told the Magistrate who the owner or occupier of the premises was or the Magistrate just had to do his job.
In view of recent activities, many residents of the state are becoming increasingly apprehensive that it is the Governor himself that is inducing breakdown of law and other. According to a source: “the Governor is the one promoting resistance to law enforcement in the state. Recall that in February this year, he had called on all militants and youths to resist arrest by any law enforcement agents. It was on that note that six Nigerian Policemen were abducted and killed at Okrika Local Government of the State, and nothing has been done about that till date. The Federal Government needs to watch out against this trend of the Governor.
CREDIT: Buduka Amaehwule
Is a Freelancer and also writes for Nigeria