Following the arrest of Sunday Adeyemo, a youth leader, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist, Femi Falana has spoken up against night raids reportedly carried out by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Speaking in an interview on Channels TV, Falana stated that the DSS must be “civilised” in its engagement, and that there is no law that supports night raids on residences of citizens.
In his words:
“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.”
“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.”
In the case of Igboho, he said 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.
On Southern Governors’ resolution of being informed before arrests are made in their states, he said the decision of the Governors is in order.
“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.
“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,” Falana said.