Legal Practitioner Says State of Emergency Is Yet To Take Effect

Channels Television  
Updated May 17, 2013

A legal practioner and public affairs analyst, Ikechukwu Ikeji has faulted the manner in which President Goodluck Jonathan has handled the declaration of State of Emergency in Adamawa, Yobe and Adamawa states.

Ikeji, who was fielding questions on Channels Television’s morning flagship programme, Sunrise Daily, argued that the president should have sent a Gazette of the declaration before going ahead with the announcement.

Ikeji said “What matters is the publication of the Gazzette. As sson as you want to declare a state of emergency, you publish the Gazette and send it forthwith as soon as you have declared it to the Senate and the House of Reps”.

He further argued that political structures in the affected states should not be upstaged until the Gazzette has been published. He also said the military shouldn’t have carried on with the deployment of troops to the states.

Reacting to a press conference by the Senate Majority Leader, Victor Nodma-Egba that the senate is yet to discuss the declaration because the Gazzette has not been sent to them, he said “If somebody is saying that the Gazzette has not been published or has not been transmitted, absolutely what we are just simply saying in effect is that there is no declaration yet of state of emergency”

Ikeji described the present declaration as an improper declaration of state of emergency, saying that people can seek redress in the law courts if they feel their fundamental rights have been trampled upon.

However, he agreed that the president, empowered by Section 130 of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Section 218, can deploy troops to any part of the country.

He said the president can premise the deployment of troops on the aforementioned sections of the 1999 constitution but not on the state of emergency.