9th September, 2015
An Abuja-based legal practitioner, Kayode Ajulo, has said that no Government House has immunity from lawful search and investigation by operatives of national security agencies.
Ajulo made this known to the NAN in Abuja on Wednesday while reacting to the recent search on the premises of Akwa Ibom Government House in Uyo, by operatives of the Department of State Service (DSS).
He said that the law empowered security operatives to conduct searches on any government building if there was credible information about possible threat to national security.
According to him, only Diplomatic Missions of foreign government embassies in the country are exempted from security investigation under the Geneva Convention.
“Akwa Ibom Government House is not a Diplomatic Mission or Foreign Government Embassy that will require the DSS or any law enforcement agencies to respect Geneva Convention.
“Intelligence or law enforcement agency officials can invade any government building if there is credible intelligence about what threatens the national security.
“Moreover, immunity conferred on governors and their deputies, as well as President and Vice-President, does not stop investigation and possible prosecution, pending the expiration of their tenure,” he said.
Ajulo, who is also the National Secretary of Labour Party, however, cautioned that such searches on government premises must be done in accordance with the provisions of extant laws.
“However, it must be done within the confine of the laws.
“State Security Service and other security agencies, by their strategic mandate, are expected not to be partisan and must at all times be above suspicion,” he advised.