Following the reactions that trailed the recent raid on judges by the Department of State Services, legal practitioner, Muyiwa Subo says “one cannot enforce the law by being unlawful”.
Mr Sobo said the case was largely an abuse of the judges’ rights to privacy.
Bringing in an international perspective, he said “the right to privacy is such a huge aspect of civil liberty in any democracy.”
He also condemned the comments purportedly made by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, that they should go to court if thing such rights were violated.
The DSS argued that “the way one acquires evidence may be questionable, however it doesn’t mean the evidence would not be valid in court”.
The DSS claims to have received a search warrant which is admissible according to the Administration Of Criminal Justice Act of 2015.
Meanwhile, Mr Sobo on the other hand argued that the admissibility of evidence regardless of how it is acquired, is against civil liberties in a democracy.
“This is because the people must have the confidence that they are safe in their homes, against the power of the government. Besides you cannot gather evidence of corruption simply based on a person’s lifestyle” he added.
He therefore maintained that evidence should not be valid if illegally obtained.
Speaking further on the idea behind the sting operation, the legal practitioner asserted that a search warrant is only needed when attempting to prevent destruction of evidence or in a case where public safety is involved.
Requesting to know what formed the basis of the investigation, he insisted that the DSS must defend its actions otherwise, “it means everything seized during that process will not be admissible”.
A wrong move
Another legal practitioner, Shina Fagbenro-Byron also deplored the
manner of approach of the DSS.
He said “if they had a reason to believe that there was an on-going crime as at the time they broke in, then their actions can be justified.
Before resorting to breaking down doors, he asks, “did they knock and the judge did not open”
Mr Byron however stated that the judiciary needs to take a deep look at itself to determine if they are instruments of justice or of law.
He admitted that the justice system has had some challenges and “there is corruption there just as there is everywhere else in the world”.