No state governor in Nigeria has the legal or statutory power to invade or barge into homes of citizens under the guise of looking for looted COVID-19 palliatives. This is according to human rights lawyers.
According to SaharaReporters, they described the attempt by some state governors, who have threatened to use security agents to embark on a house-to-house search to recover the stolen items as illegal.
According to Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome, who spoke with SaharaReporters over the issue, the government ought to have been prosecuted for the negligence of their primary duty on people’s welfare and security as stipulated in section 14 of 1999 constitution.
He said the action negated Section 37 of the constitution, which protects the privacy of homes, correspondences, letters and secrecy of every Nigerians without the right of any person, authority or government to invade or come into that premises without the consent of the owners.
“If governors are saying that people have looted government properties one thing becomes clear, looting without permission is a criminal offence. So, no state government can simply take the law or result to self-help and barge into the homes of these people allegedly searching for so-called looted properties.
“They will first go to a court of law and obtain a search warrant before they can enter any homes at all. The search warrant must indicate why they are going to search the house with dignity of people and fair hearing with their right to privacy and family life.”