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Falana counters Army Chief on citizens’ rights to bear arms



Following the recent attacks in Plateau State, a debate has ignited around arms ownership by citizens with Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Femi Falana, taking issues with the Chief of Army Staff’s statement that Nigerians have no right to bear arms.

He argued it’s an inaccurate and potentially dangerous claim.

In an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Breakfast programme on Wednesday, Falana said, “In the first place, it is not correct to say Nigerians have no right to bear arms, Apart from the fact that the penal code applicable in the North and the criminal code applicable in the South recognises the right to self-defence.

“In the first place, we have to discuss the rights and proceed to examine the propriety.”

“In other words, if someone aims a gun at me, and I can quickly grab another gun, I have the right to shoot.

READ ALSO:Falana faults Tinubu on reinstatement of 27 cross-carpeting Rivers lawmakers

When asked to clarify if the law allows for one to bear guns, Falana noted that one needs a gun licence.

He said, “But you are required to apply for the licence first.”

However, Falana called for caution regarding what the constitution mandates when it comes to self-defence.

Falana said, “I am just saying the right to self -defence which is also guaranteed by the constitution.

“All I am not allowed to do is not use a force that is not proportional to the threat.“

“In other words, If you are going to hit me with a cane I must not go for a gun which is not proportional,“ he said.

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