Court declares Army’s Operation Positive Identification illegal

Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has declared that the Nigerian Army has no power under the Constitution to breach the fundamental rights of Nigerians to free movement within the country.

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has declared that the Nigerian Army has no power under the Constitution to breach the fundamental rights of Nigerians to free movement within the country.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa’s decision was a sequel to a suit filed by human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, SAN, challenging the Army’s power to breach Nigerians rights to free and unrestricted movement as guaranteed by the Constitution under the pretence of Operation Positive Identification.

Falana in his suit filed last year with No: FHC/L/CS/1939/2019 prayed the court among others, stopping the Nigerian Army’s operation code name-Positive Identification campaign, arguing that such action will breach the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people to liberty and freedom of movement.

Joined as Respondents in the suit were the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, the Army and the Attorney-General of the Federation.

The moment the suit was filed the Attorney General of the Federation filed a response, praying the court to dismiss Falana’s suit, arguing that the human rights lawyer lacks the locus to institute the case.

A senior advocate, Mr Dayo Apata, SAN who represented the Attorney General of the Federation alongside Mrs Olayemi Badewole, who represented the Nigerian Army have challenged Falana’s locus standi to institute the suit.

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