DSS’ night raids dangerous legacy of military era – Falana

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Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, says there is no law that supports night raids on residences of citizens.

Falana said raids on residences of citizens by security operatives are “dangerous legacy” of the military era.

Last Thursday, operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) raided the home of Sunday Adeyemo, a youth leader, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, in which 13 persons were arrested, and two others reported dead.

The DSS said weapons and charms were recovered from the home.

But Igboho said the weapons do not belong to him.

Speaking on the development on Monday in a programme on Channels TV, Falana said the DSS must be “civilised” in its engagement, adding that no legal provision supports night arrests.

He said in the case of Igboho, the DSS should have gone to his residence with a warrant of arrest and proceeded to take inventory of the items recovered from the residence.

“There is no law in Nigeria that allows you to arrest anybody in the dead of the night. I mean, you are not planning a coup. We aren’t armed robbers,” Falana said.

“I did say this when the judges were arrested. If you are going to arrest a judge as they did in 2016, what stops you from staying around the premises or you want to be sure the man is not going to escape.

“You stay around the premises, if he is going to drive out, you just simply accost him and say your lordship your attention is needed.

“We must be civilised. These are very dangerous legacies of military dictatorship in our country. There is no provision, unless a crime is being committed in the night. You cannot go there and arrest. In this case, you are required by law to have a warrant of arrest. A search warrant.”

Commenting on the resolution of southern governors that they must be informed before arrests are made in their states, Falana said the decision of the governors is “perfectly in order”.

He said governors are chief security officers of their states, and that the courts had ruled on several occasions that governors have the last say in public meetings, rallies and operations in their states.

“It is a decision that is coming rather late. Governors are chief security officers of their states in line with the provisions of the constitution — and in the case of attorney-general of Anambra state and attorney-general of the federation,” he said.

“When Governor Ngige of the then Anambra state was kidnapped with the connivance of a chief police officer. The state governor went to court and supreme court made a point that the commissioner of police in each state are under the control of the governor and they must take directive from the governor.”

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