DSS has no reason to arrest Judges – Ex-NBA president, Agbakoba

Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, has said that the Department of State Services, DSS, has no constitutional right to arrest judges.

Agbakoba was speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily on Thursday following the recent raid on judges’ homes over alleged corruption. during The DSS said huge sums of money were recovered, a statement the Rivers State governor Nyesome Wike, immediately dismissed as a concocted story.

Agbakoba insisted that the DSS is not the same as the SSS, adding that the competence of the DSS was questionable.

He questioned the authenticity of the DSS, stressing that he was not aware if both agencies were one and wondered if the DSS was really established by the law as “it is not referred to in the National Security Services Act.”

“It is inconceivable that the judges could have been ‘stung’ by the DSS “when already five out of the seven judges were investigated and removed from office by the NJC.

“The NBA never said if the judges are corrupt they are entitled to immunity or they should not be dealt with.”

He described the manner of the arrest as “inhumane” even though the DSS claimed to have been issued a warrant prior to the raid.

He added, “Even the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, under which they purportedly went, refers to humane treatment of people suspected of committing a crime.

“That type of treatment is reserved for the hardest criminals, you and I don’t deserve that.”

He further explained that the DSS or SSS has a limited mandate which is to investigate crimes relating to internal security rather than economic or financial crimes, adding that they do not have the constitutional power to extend their roles from internal security to financial crimes.

The Former NBA President said that although ‘evidential’ value is admissible, due process is constitutionally guaranteed.

He said, “Assuming the judges go forward to trial, and I am counsel to them, I will make a case that the constitutional guarantees given to them have been violated and that is fundamental.

“However if tomorrow they are responsible for what the DSS alleges, I will be the first to say please put them to court.”

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