Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, on Monday, lambasted the Department of State Services over what he described as a “nocturnal coup” carried out on the Ibadan residence of Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo also known as Sunday Igboho, last Thursday.
“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,” Femi Falana said on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme monitored by The PUNCH.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that the DSS on Thursday morning around 1am invaded the residence of Igboho in a Gestapo style. Though Igboho had escaped the raid, his house and cars were riddled with bullets while bloodstains splattered over the floors of the house. The DSS also said it killed two of his associates in a gun duel. Thirteen of Igboho’s guards and close associates were later paraded in Abuja on Thursday evening.
The secret police had since declared Igboho wanted. The activist is being accused of stockpiling weapons to allegedly destabilise the country under the guise of agitation for Yoruba nation but he has since denied the allegation, saying he protects himself with charms and not weapons.
Speaking on the television programme, Femi Falana described as late, the decision of the Southern governors in Lagos State on Monday that security agencies must notify them as the chief security officer of their states before they carry out any operation within their domain.
“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.
Continuing, the senior advocate said, “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,” he stated.