Operation Positive Identification: Why I Am Suing Nigerian Army – Falana
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, has given reasons why he is suing the Nigerian Army over the planned Operation Positive Identification.
Falana who spoke during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Thursday, said the Armed Forces have no constitutional rights to usurp the powers vested on the Nigeria Police in the nation’s internal security.
He advised the armed forces to concentrate their efforts in containing the activities of the Boko Haram terrorists in the northeast rather than embarking on the “planned harassment and intimidation of Nigerians.”
“I am praying the court to restrain the Armed Forces, the Nigerian Army permanently from subjecting Nigerians to such ridiculous harassment as they are planning.
“I am actually telling the court that majority of Nigerians do not have any means of identifying themselves. They do not have passports, driving licences, voters cards or international passports,” he said.
When asked if he has secured a court injunction to stop the military from carrying out the exercise, he replied saying: “I am working seriously on an injunction.”
Speaking further, he warned the military against “subjecting Nigerians and other foreigners to a degrading and dehumanizing farce which is unknown to law.”
He argued that the “Constitution has vested the police the powers of maintaining internal security in Nigeria while the Armed Forces are in charge of defending the territorial integrity of the country.
“There are a number of court decisions, not less than five, that have made it pointedly clear that the military have no business in usurping police powers by attempting to maintain law and order in this country.”
Falana’s comments come two days after Nigerian Army described the viral post of planned nationwide ‘Operation Positive Identification’ (OPI) exercise credited to the Armed Forces as a ‘Fake Alert’.
In a social media post, the Army informed the public that the security advisory which is supposed to commence from November 1, 2019, to December 23, 2019, should be disregarded.