Rivers State Governor has accused the police and the Department of State Services (DSS) of trying to abduct a serving Federal High Court judge in his residence at number 35, Forces Avenue in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
The State Governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, on getting wind of the incidence, went to the residence of the judge with the aim of averting the arrest.
A statement issued by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, said the security operatives were angered by the governor’s arrival at the scene shortly after the process began.
The statement adds that the security operatives blocked the entrance of the residence of the judge at about 1:00am on Saturday, claiming that they were acting on orders from above.
The Rivers State Police Commissioner, Francis Odesanya, however, said that the two security agencies were at the scene because they received privileged information.
Mr Odesanya added that he was at the scene as a peacemaker.
Governor Wike Narrates The Situation
Meanwhile, the Governor narrating the situation to newsmen in the state said, “It appeared to be an attempt to kidnap some people, so I told my security details to arrange security for us to move to the place.
“We got here 10 minutes after 1:00 am, and saw some security agencies, I asked what was going on and the security official said they were detailed to arrest a judge.
” I said it is never heard that by 1:00am (after one), you are here to arrest a judge when you could as well invite the judge.
“If you cannot reach the judge whoever the judge is, invite the judge through the Chief Judge and obviously, the judge must have to respond to your invitation”.
The Governor stated that it will not be appropriate to arrest a judge at an odd hour when he has not been declared as a criminal but invited to have a chat which they said was the motive of the arrest.
He insisted that the judge must be invited in the morning to come for the chat, “I said okay, why not in the morning invite the judge to come whoever the judge is?
“And they insisted that by the order they have that they are directed to pick the judge and bring the judge over.
“I said well, as the Chief Security Officer, if I cannot at this moment say look, it is not possible and let us see a way that we can do things the more civilized way, this is democracy, this is not military government.
“If as a governor of a state you cannot respect and say okay, now that the governor as the Chief Security Officer (as they said) has advised that they should invite the judge to come whoever the judge is, then something is wrong”,
The governor further added that such act portends danger to our democracy and “under a democratic government, it’s not allowed, the rule of law must always take its place”.
He noted that there are things to be done in a more decent way to assure people of their protection in a democratic dispensation, he referred to the incident as “unfortunate”