A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has kicked against the deployment of military personnel to different parts of the country ahead of the Saturday elections.
In a statement issued on Friday, the rights activist insisted that military should remain in the barracks during elections and remain alert to repel any external aggression on the country.
He stressed that there are enough security agencies to take care of security during elections.
The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, had earlier on Friday said 425,106 security operatives would be deployed for the elections.
The security operatives, according to him, include officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Federal Road Service Corps (FRSC), Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The Nigerian Army on Tuesday launched its Operation Safe Conduct for the elections.
Following the launch, videos showing armoured vehicles driving along the streets, and troops marching surfaced on social media.
Falana, however, cited rulings against the use of the military for security during elections.
He said: “Following the investigation conducted by the army headquarters into the rigging of the 2014 Ekiti State governorship election, some military officers were indicted and retired.
“And in the appeal arising from the election petition filed by the APC, the Court of Appeal stated in All Progressives Congress v Peoples Democratic Party (2015) LPELR 24349 that the president lacked the power to call on the armed forces to restore law and order in any part of the federation without the approval of the National Assembly as provided in sections 217(2) and 218(4) of the Constitution as amended.
“On the basis of the aforementioned cases, the APC requested former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, not to allow the Jonathan administration to deploy the armed forces in conducting the 2015 General Election.
“The request of the APC was contained in a letter dated February 16, 2015, and signed by the Director, Legal Services of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Mr. Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume (SAN).
“In view of the foregoing, President Buhari should not allow the armed forces in the conduct of the election. Instead of terrorising voters, armed soldiers should be confined to their barracks and put on the alert.
“Since the Federal Government has restricted the movement of people throughout the country, the police, anti-graft agencies, and paramilitary forces should be deployed by the Inspector-General of Police to maintain law and order during the 2023 General Election.”
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