Wednesday, 27th October 2021
<To guardian.ng
Search
Breaking News:
Law  

Lawyer sues Army for allegedly conducting internal security operations illegally

By Joseph Onyekwere
12 October 2021   |   4:05 am
Human rights lawyer, Chief Malcom Omirhobo has sued the Nigerian Army at the Federal High Court, Lagos, asking the court to determine whether it is the duty of soldiers to handle internal security in the country.

Malcolm Omirhobo

Human rights lawyer, Chief Malcom Omirhobo has sued the Nigerian Army at the Federal High Court, Lagos, asking the court to determine whether it is the duty of soldiers to handle internal security in the country.

Also joined in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/1082/2021 are the Federal Government of Nigeria (2nd defendant) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

The plaintiff said he filed the action for himself and on behalf of the Nigerian public.

In his originating summons, he asked the court to tell whether by the clear interpretation and/or construction of the provisions of certain sections of laws, the statutory duties and responsibilities of overseeing the internal security of Nigeria, checkmating bandits, kidnappers, thugs, cultists, armed robbers, ethnic militia, cattle rustlers, communal crises, violent secessionist agitators, farmers/herders clashes as well as other sundry crimes throughout Nigeria is that of the Police and not that of the Nigerian Army.

The authorities he cited are sections 1 (1)(3), 214(1)(2)(a)(b)(c), 217(1) (2)(a)(b)(c)(d), 218(1)(3) and 305 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria; Sections 3 and 4 of the Nigerian Police Act, 2020 and Sections 1 (1)(2)(a)(b)(c)(3), 4 (a)(b)(c)(d)(e)(f), 8(1)(a)(b)(c)(d)(2) and (3) of the Armed Forces Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The plaintiff also wants the court to tell if it is proper, civil, legal, lawful, constitutional and democratic for the defendants to institutionalise the use of the 1st defendant (Army) to perform the statutory duties and responsibilities of the Police via various military operations such as Still Water, Golden dawn, Enduring peace, Ayem Akpatuma, Crocodile smile and Python dance (Egwu Eke) now christened Atilogwu Udo, without following due process and in compliance with laws.

Consequently, the plaintiff is asking the court to declare that it is the statutory duties and responsibilities of the Police to oversee the internal security of Nigeria and to checkmate bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, ethnic militia, cattle rustlers as well as other sundry crimes throughout Nigeria and not that of the 1st defendant.

He also wants a declaration that it is improper, illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and undemocratic for the defendants to support and patronise the use of the 1st defendant to carry out the primary duties and responsibilities of the Police without following due process and in compliance with the laws.

“A declaration of this honourable court that it is improper, uncivil, illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and undemocratic for the defendants to institutionalise the use of military operations such as Still Water, Golden dawn and Enduring peace Ayem Akpatuma, Crocodile smile and Python dance (Egwu Eke) now christened Atilogwu Udo to perform the statutory duties and responsibilities of the Police without following due process and compliance with law,” he prayed.

The lawyer is also asking the court to make an order to disband and/or proscribe all other military operations or exercises in Nigeria used by the defendants to usurp the functions, duties and responsibilities of the Police, for not following due process and non-compliance with the laws.

“An order of this honourable court restraining the 1st defendant, her servants, agents and/or privies whosoever by whatever name so described from further carrying on with Operations Ayem Akpatuma 2, Crocodile smile 4, Python dance (Egwu Eke) 4 and positive identification, Still Water, Golden dawn and Enduring peace and all other such operations throughout Nigeria, for not following due process and non compliance with law,” he prayed, asking for a perpetual injunction restraining the 1st defendant, its servants, agents and/or privies from carrying out the statutory duties and responsibilities of the Police in whatever name or form without following due process and in compliance with the law, among other prayers.

His application is supported by a 74-paragraph affidavit, in which he swore that the court has the jurisdiction to entertain public interest litigation for the benefit of Nigerians, adding that it would be in the overall interest of justice that his application is granted.