Absence of SSS director stalls hearing Wike’s suit against IGP, others

Daily Nigerian
Governor Nyosom Wike of Rivers State

A Federal High Court, Abuja on Wednesday could not hear Rivers governor, Nyesom Wike’s application for an injunction against the Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim Idris and two others.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the development was due to absence of Director of Department of State Service.

The other respondents are: the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the State Security Service, SSS.

Mr Wike, in his application, is seeking to ask the court to restrain the respondents from searching any of his houses.

However, the matter could not be heard due to the absence of one of the respondents, SSS in court.

The judge, Ahmed Mohammed, declined to proceed with the matter following the disclosure by the registrar of the court that there was no proof that the DSS had been served with hearing notices.

According to the judge, it is the law that all parties in a suit must be served hearing notices, adding that unless any party elects not to attend court after having been served, then the matter can go on.

“The important thing here is that, I ordered that hearing notices be served on all the parties.

“If the registrar had said that the fourth defendant had been served and they elected to stay away, that will be their business,” he said.

However, David Igbodo, counsel to the inspector-general of police, prayed the court to proceed with the matter, arguing that it was mainly between the governor and his client.

“I think we can proceed with the matter in the absence of the fourth defendant,” he said.

The counsel to other defendants in the matter, O.M. Atoyebi and Aliyu Usman, however, conceded to an adjournment, adding that proper thing be done.

The judge adjourned the matter until February 22, to enable the plaintiff effect service on all parties.

He also ordered that fresh hearing notices be served on the fourth defendant and asked the registrar of the court to ensure that the defendant was served.

NAN reports that the suit was filed in June by Sylva Ogwemoh on behalf of Mr Wike.

Among other reliefs, Mr Wike is seeking a declaration that by virtue of the provisions of Section 308 of the Constitution, the IGP, the EFCC and the SSS could not apply for, obtain, issue or execute any court process compelling his presence.

He also sought relief “whether the defendants can, by the combined effect of Section 308 of the Constitution and Sections 149 and 150 of the Administration of Criminal Justice” among others.

Again, whether the defendants can apply for, obtain, issue or in any manner or form, effectively execute a search warrant at the residence of Wike in Abuja.

The relief also include or any of his residences without his physical presence in the course of the execution of such search warrant.