Olayanju Raphael, Ogun State
Miss use of Power! The Nigerian Army Cannot Declare Citizens Wanted Court rules out:
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu referring to a case of the NIGERIAN Army and Issa Perry Brimah.
The Federal High Court in Abuja has ruled out that the Nigerian Army cannot declare any citizen wanted because they lack the power and are not capable to arrest nor handcuffed the citizens.
January 2019, the Nigerian Army sent out a press release on Facebook declaring Brimah wanted for reportedly raising funds for troops and vigilantes fighting against Boko Haram in Nigeria’s North-East.
Following the declaration of the Nigeria Army Constitution, Brimah dragged the Nigerian Army to the Federal High Court in suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/267/2019 for defamation.
“However, it must be stated here without equivocation that the defendant (Nigerian Army) has no right to declare the plaintiff (Dr. Perry Brimah) wanted without following the appropriate procedure. The defendant (Nigerian Army) cannot arrest the plaintiff ( Dr. Brimah) arbitrarily without making a formal report to law enforcement agency with the mandate to enforce law and order, otherwise it would transmute to self-help. The duty of the defendant is to make a formal report to the appropriate authority like the police and await the outcome,” she said.
Reacting to the court Judgement, Brimah said, “We are in a civil society and a democratic state. The Nigerian Army has no right in arresting civilians, in brutalising us at patrol stations, forcing us to lie on our backs and look at the sun. It is high time we catch up with the reality. We are not under the military junta authoritarian rule. Under a civilian administration, the army has no right to mount road blocks and arrest or declare citizens wanted. This is the role of the police law enforcers. We all know soldiers are not trained to document arrests and lay out charges in court.
“I hope this judgment will serve as a focal point to outlaw the wanton abuse of power by the Nigerian Army and help free and empower citizens across the nation from North to South who have oft been abused and terrorized by lawless legally armed men on our payroll, whose duty is to obey the law and protect and not terrorize us.” (Honorable Justice Ojukwu) concluded.