Popular and controversial Senior Advocate of Nigeria and human rights activist, Femi Falana has dragged the Nigerian army to court over “operation positive identification” exercise which was scheduled to take off in all states in the country on Friday November 1.
Recall that in a statement released ahead of the exercise in which soldiers will be demanding a valid form of identification from all Nigerians, the Nigerian army said it would “checkmate bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, ethnic militia, cattle rustlers as well as perpetrators pf other crimes across the various regions of Nigeria.”
However Falana asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to declare the exercise ‘illegal’ as it violates people’s right to freedom of movement.
In the lawsuit which has the Nigerian army as its first respondent and the Chief of Army Staff as its second respondent, Falana stated that the Nigeran army is only empowered by the constitution “to disperse its officials for the purposes of suppressing insurrection, which is not the case at the moment.
“There is no insurrection in every part of the country which the Nigeria police cannot contain to warrant the deployment of armed troops all over the country from 1st November, 2019 to December 23rd, 2019.
“Neither the Constitution nor the Armed Forces Act Cap A20 LFN, 2004 has empowered the Nigeria Army to arrest any citizen who is not subject to service law.”
The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai has however stated that the exercise will continue despite opposition.