Abuja - The Borno State Chapter of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has faulted the decision of the Army to impose a curfew in Maiduguri.
The professional body of lawyers in the country described the development as a violation of the power reposed in the state governor.
NBA Chairman, Barrister Abdulwasiu Alfa, said the decision of the military to impose curfew on the city beyond 48 hours was in flagrant disregard to the sections of the Nigerian Constitution that gave such powers to the State Governor alone.
The lawyers accused the military of attempting to run parallel constitutional powers with an existing democratically elected government.
“We have carefully gone through the Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004 (as amended) and did not find the source of the power of the military to restrict movement of people within a state especially when the state is not under an emergency,” the lawyers said.
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The lawyers said only the state executive governor has such powers to declare a curfew as empowered by the Constitution.
“The NBA is not aware that there are two state governors in Borno state.
The law recognizes only one; and he is the only one that is vested with such powers over the state. The era of military tyranny is long gone in the history of Nigeria. Today the military should either remain in the barracks of go to Sambisa Forest and fight the insurgents.”
Alfa said the military had no business subjecting civil populace to military tyrannical laws such as the one at hand.
“The restrictions of movement by the 7 Division under whatever pretext is illegal, unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect whatsoever. We challenge the military to disclose to the public which Law empowers them to make Laws in Borno state. We are not in the state of war,” the lawyers added.
Borno is the state worst affected by the Boko Haram terror crisis that has claimed the lives of more than 13 000 lives and displaced about 2 million.
- CAJ News