Foremost human rights lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), on Saturday said Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has no right under the law to confiscate property of citizens who allegedly flouted the lockdown order in the state.
The Rivers State Government had directed its Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice to auction all vehicles that were impounded for violating the state’s lockdown directive.
But in a statement titled: ‘The Emerging Dictatorship in Rivers State’ Adegboruwa said the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria grants unfettered access to property which cannot be taken with Executive fiat as being done by the governor.
The statement reads: “The Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency Mr. Nyesom Wike, is a lawyer, which should be an added advantage to birth good governance.
“The Governor also has a reliable partner as a judicial officer, so that both in the office and at home, law is following the Governor and it is written all over him.
“But the story of Rivers State in recent times has become a major worry for all lovers of the rule of law and democracy. From the arbitrary arrest of pilots and oil workers, to the closure of State boundaries and now an executive order to auction all vehicles alleged to have violated the lockdown order of the Governor, it has been one case of illegality to another.
“The Constitution grants unfettered right to property and it cannot be circumscribed without following the due process of law. The Rivers State Governor has no legal right in law to confiscate the property of citizens by executive fiat. Surely, two wrongs cannot make a right.
“I urge the good people of Rivers State to stand up to every form of lawlessness and arbitrariness and defend their rights under the Constitution.
“The People’s Democratic Party will be living in condemnable hypocrisy, if it claims to be in opposition to the ruling party but cannot correct the excesses of its own leaders,” he said