Falana Says Army’s Call For Law and Order Unconstitutional

Human Rights Activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana, has faulted the Nigerian Army’s call to Nigerians to maintain law and order.

According to him, it is unconstitutional for the Nigerian Army to make such call under a democratic dispensation as only the Nigerian Police is saddled with such responsibility.

Mr Falana was a guest on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily where he spoke about the rampaging herdsmen and their incessant attacks on communities across the country.

Mr Falana was of the view that the attack on Nimbo community in Enugu State could have been prevented if security agencies, particularly the Police did not dismiss an earlier warning of the impending attack as rumour.

He wondered why the Commissioner of Police in the state was only transferred after what he called “a case of criminal negligence” had been established, leading to killings and destruction of property.

Mr Falana said that the leadership of the Police, DSS and the Army should be held responsible.

“With profound respect to the President, we must begin to appreciate the need to govern this country in line with the rule of law.

“For me it was very embarrassing that the President had to issue a directive to the Inspector-General of Police and the Chief of Defence Staff to maintain law and order in our country.

“You don’t need a presidential directive to do your work,” he said.

The Defence Headquarters had issued a strong warning to persons or groups seeking to engage in acts capable of causing a breakdown of law and order in Nigeria and Mr Falana did not agree with this approach.

“It also has to be understood that the military as an institution has no business whatsoever in the maintenance of internal security in our country.

“It is very illegal and unconstitutional for the Chief of Army Staff or the Chief of Defence Staff to be threatening civilians in our country. We’re not under a military dictatorship by the way.

“It is the business of the Police to maintain law and order in our country. The rule of the Armed Forces under the constitution; Section 217 is to protect the territorial integrity of the country (and) defend the country against external aggression.”

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