Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, has disclosed that the reaction of the Southern governors to operations of security agencies in their states is coming too late.
WuzupNigeria reported all 17 Southern Governors met in Lagos State on Monday to discuss issues of national concerns, including security, open grazing, the Petroleum Industry Bill and the Electoral Act, amongst others.
This comes after a series of operations by the Department of State Services, notably, the overnight raid on the Ibadan residence of Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, last Thursday which claimed at least two lives.
As a result, the governors, led by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State who doubles as the Southern Governors Forum Chairman, resolved that security agencies must notify them as the chief security officer of their respective states before embarking on any operation within their domain.
Reacting to the resolution on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme on Monday, Falana said, “It is a decision that is coming rather late.
“Governors are chief security officers of their states in line with the constitution.
“Each state has a security council and the governor is the chairman,” he said.
Subsequently, Falana also berated the DSS over the invasion of Igboho’s residence which he described as a ‘nocturnal coup’ by the government agency.
He said, “There is no law in Nigeria that allows you to arrest somebody in the dead of the night when you are not planning a coup and you are not an armed robber.
“You can’t have a situation where nocturnal arrests are made in a state as if you are planning a coup. Take Ibadan for instance, the invasion of the home of Igboho happened in the night and for all-day, everybody was wondering who did and that seven people were killed. People were arrested and abducted at 2am, the governor of the state wasn’t aware. So, everybody was trying to find out, calling security agencies, only for the State Security Service to issue a very provocative statement after almost 12 hours to say, ‘We did it, we killed two people, we raided a house’. Somebody attempted to evade arrest and you killed two people? The governor of the state wasn’t aware?
“In these days of kidnappings, anybody can come to your house in the night and arrest you. And these are guys who don’t wear uniforms.”
“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 bring a search warrant. In this case, there was no search warrant, nobody took an inventory.
“Now, Sunday Adeyemo has said I didn’t have any gun in my house. Yet, the SSS paraded guns and other ammunition. All the controversies would have been unnecessary if the SSS had behaved like a modern, civilised agency.
“These are very dangerous legacies of military dictatorship in our country.”
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