The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has been barred by a Federal High Court in Abujafrom carrying out any search on the residence of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
The governor had on May 4, 2017, approached the court for an order restraining the Inspector General of Police (IG), EFCC and DSS (1-4 defendants respectively) from investigating him while in office as a governor.
Delivering judgment on the suit, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, said it was gratifying to note that parties are in agreement that the plaintiff cannot be investigated based on the provision of section 308(1) of Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, notwithstanding anything to the contrary.
Justice Mohammed said the provisions stipulated that no civil or criminal proceedings shall be instituted against a person protected by section 308.
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Secondly, the person covered by the provisions shall not be arrested, and thirdly, any process of court requiring appearance of a person protected under the provisions shall not be applied.
He held that parties in their submissions lost the purport and intendment of section 308(1)(c) of the constitution.
“A careful reading of section 308(1)(c) shows that the constitution has prohibited court process requiring appearance of a serving governor before any investigative panel,” he held.
Justice Mohammed stated that the argument of the police and EFCC that Wike’s residence can be searched without his presence “is untenable.”
The judge said it was wrong for the defendants to import meaning or interpretation not included in section 308 of the constitution by the draftsman.
In dismissing the objection of the defendants to the suit, Justice Mohammed was of the opinion that the court cannot go contrary to section 308 of the constitution because of the public policy principle, which is protected by the constitution itself.
The court further held that arguments of 2nd and 3rd defendants that their enabling laws permit them to carry out investigations are untenable.