24.4 C
Abuja

Court says army lacks power to conduct ‘Operation Positive Identification’

Related

2mins read

THE Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Friday sustained a lawsuit filed by Femi Falana, human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) over the planned implementation of the “Operation Positive Identification’ by the Nigerian Army.

Falana had filed the Fundamental Rights Enforcement suit on October 25, 2019 against the planned exercise by the army scheduled to hold from 1 November to 23 December 2019.

He listed the Nigerian Army, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, as the respondents to the suit.

While ruling on the case, Justice Rilwan Aikawa stated that the Nigerian Army has no power under the Nigerian constitution to subject civilians to such positive identification process adding that the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people to liberty and freedom of movement would be breached by the planned positive identification.

Aikawa insisted that Falana has the locus standi to have instituted the suit as he dismissed the objections of the Attorney General of the Federation and the Nigerian Army to the applicant’s suit.

Falana in his suit emphasized that it is illegal and unconstitutional for the court to uphold an act that would require  Nigerians to move around with a valid means of identification such as the National Identification Card, Voters Registration Card, Drivers’ Licence and passports or other valid official identification pleaded the court to dismiss the idea behind the exercise.

He argued that it is unconstitutional for the military to mount checkpoints on highways anywhere in the country as he cited several authorities.

- Advertisement -

The human rights lawyer added that that is the work of the police  arguing that the respondents have not given valid reasons why  soldiers must take over the duties of the police.

He also stated the his plea before the court pertains to his right to life, liberty, and freedom of movement just as every other Nigerian who could get shot by soldiers if they fail to produce any means of identification on demand adding that the appellate courts have ruled severally that the army has no business in civil actions neither are they allowed to get involved in elections.

Falana, therefore, urged the court to grant his fundamental rights application which he emphasized are completely backed by Chapter 4 of the Constitution.

But the three respondents to the suit filed a preliminary objection challenging the suit.

The Nigerian military had launched in October 2019 “Operation Positive Identification” to demand identity cards from citizens across the country stating that the operation would combat the threats of criminal insurgency and terrorism, armed banditry, kidnapping, herdsmen-farmers clashes, cultism, and communal crises across the country.

The idea attracted ciriticisms and calls to drop it by the Nigerian Army.

However, in November the House of Representatives gave the Nigerian army the approval to carry out Operation Positive Identification (OPI) in conjunction with other relevant security agencies, after it had initially kicked against the operation.

- Advertisement -

The House in its initial criticism of OPI said it  would strip Nigerians of their constitutionally guaranteed freedom of movement.

If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation

Advertisement

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Support the ICIR

We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.

Recent

Investigation: Inside Enugu immigration office where passport racketeering thrives

For four months, Arinze CHIJOKE monitored passport racket involving the Passport Collection Officer and...

After dissolving AEDC board, FG claims DisCo unable to meet $122m obligation

THE Federal Government, on Wednesday, explained why it constituted an interim team to manage ...

I have nothing to do with bandits anymore –Gumi

ISLAMIC cleric Ahmad Gumi has announced that he will no longer mediate between the...

Botched PDP building: Ex-chairman wants EFCC to investigate political party funds

THE FAILURE of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) national headquarters building project despite billions...

Police claim two students died in Ojodu school truck accident

.....Police officer mourns daughter's death ....... School closes today, to resume January 4, 2022 THE daughter...
Advertisement

Most Read

Advertisement

Subscribe to our newsletter

Advertisement