Foremost Nigerian lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) has said the deployment of the army to Abia state and the purported house arrest of Nnamdi Kanu is unconstitutional.
Falana said the Federal Government must maintain law and order without going against the constitution.
“No doubt, the federal government of Nigeria has the duty to maintain law and order in the country. But it is the duty which cannot be carried out outside the ambit of the law of the land,” he said.
“Last weekend, armed troops invaded Aba in Abia state to deal with the alleged threat of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to destabilise the country. It was reported yesterday that the troops have taken over the family house of Mr Kanu and put him under house arrest.
“Having filed an application in the Federal High Court for the re-arrest and detention of Mr. Kanu for allegedly breaching the conditions attached to his bail the federal government ought not to have presented the trial judge with a fait accompli by resorting to self help in the circumstance.
“Although the President is empowered by virtue of section 217(2) of the Constitution to deploy the armed forces for the “suppression of insurrection and acting in aid of civil authorities to restore law order” he cannot exercise the power until there is an insurrection or civil disturbance which cannot be contained by the police.
“(4) Since there was no insurrection in Abia State which the Nigeria Police Force could not contain the deployment of armed troops by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces cannot be justified in law.
“(5) However, if the federal government has evidence of other criminal offences recently committed by Mr. Kanu the Police should have been directed to arrest him and charge him to court without any delay.”topics from