‘Military Is Recruiting Young Nigerians To Innovate’

Major-General Ezugwu was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

 

The Nigerian military is heavily investing in young Nigerians to build innovative solutions to the country’s national security challenges, the Director-General of the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), Major-General Victor Ezugwu, said on Monday.

Major-General Ezugwu was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

He said the investment was initiated by President Muhammdu Buhari’s decision to upscale the military’s ability to build its own technology. 

“The President ordered us to look into local content for developing strategies and equipment for military solutions to our national security challenges,” he said. “And DICOM is the hub of that solution to our national defence equipment production.”

On December 3, President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled Made-in-Nigeria Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles and Major-General Ezugwu noted that the production of the vehicles was mostly done by Nigerians.

“We are using local content up to 70 percent in the production of the armoured fighting vehicles that was recently commissioned by the President.

“And we have gathered some Nigerians who I know are blessed with a lot of human resources. We have gathered engineers. All of them are Nigerians, no foreign advisers or consultant that produced the Ezegwu MRAPs that Mr President has commissioned. The oldest among them is 31 years old.”

DICON has produced ten MRAP units for the army and have signed a contract to produce another 28 units. 

“We still need a kind of production line that will enable us to increase the number we can churn out within a given amount of time. The Minister of Defence is helping us with that.”

According to the Major-General, the ten MRAPs were produced within a period of seven months. “We outsourced some parts to our collaborators,” he said. “The Chief of Army Staff has said his joy will be when we reduce foreign content to 10 percent. 

Major-General Ezugwu added that DICON was also looking to solve other technical challenges for the military.

“Apart from the MRAP, we have looked into the problems in the north-east and we have begun to address the issues. We have developed a mines-sweeper and mines-roller that is going to address the issues of landmines. We are producing ballistics and helmet for the military and other equipment, all locally.”

 

Saving Foreign Exchange

Major-General Ezugwu said the focus on local innovation is already saving the country some foreign exchange.

“We are saving a lot of money that would have been used by contractors to import these things abroad,” he said.

“The MRAP we produce here locally is about a unit cost of N70m; those we import from abroad cost us in the neighborhood of between $500,000 to $1,000,000. So we are trying to reduce capital flight in Nigeria. 

“We need homegrown solutions for our problems. Let us, DICON and Command Engineering Depot in Kaduna, which is a Nigerian army establishment, to go into production of these MRAPs. We looked at all other MRAPs that other countries in Europe have produced, so we now designed one that can address the terrain in the north-east. Because when you get a MRAP from abroad, the issue of our weather and environment may not be so much captured in production.”

 

A Starting Point

The Major-General went on to stress that the MRAP production was a starting point.

“In the next five years, if this feat is sustained, I can assure you that we might not have any need to import any vehicle into this country for military purposes.”

Although DICON has been in existence since the 1960s, the Major-General noted that its operation is being ramped up by the current administration. 

“This is the time that we have a strategic leader who thinks ahead, who is desirous to ensure that Nigeria’s defence capacities are enhanced. Also, I must thank the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, for having the courage to assist the DICON and Command Engineering Depot to achieve this project.

“The funding of the (MRAP) project, which is valued at well over a billion naira was drawn from the support of the army’s headquarters. 

“The fact that we have not made an inroad into defence production in the past is because the environment, the strategic guidance, was not actually there. But now we have leaders both at the military and political levels that support defence industry production. And that is why things are going the way they are going.”

Continue To Respect Human Rights, Buhari Tells Soldiers

President Buhari giving the opening speech at the annual Chief of Army Staff Conference in Kaduna on December 3, 2019

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday advised Nigerian soldiers to keep to the rules of engagement and international code of conduct while carrying out their constitutional duties.

The President was speaking at the annual Chief of Army Staff Conference in Kaduna on Tuesday.

The Nigerian army has been serially accused, by rights groups, of flouting human rights during its operations.

However, on Tuesday, President Buhari commended the army for its work in keeping the country safe from terrorists. 

“I urge our soldiers to continue to abide by their ethics and ethos and keep to the rules of engagement and code of conduct while ensuring that human rights and international humanitarian laws are promoted and respected in the conduct of military operations,” the President said.

He then saluted the “army’s courage and gallantry” while noting that its achievements have come with associated costs.

“Many personnel have lost their lives, some have sustained injuries and a significant number have been away from their families for a long time,” he said.

“I, once again, send my condolences to the families of those who have paid the supreme sacrifice in an effort to safeguard the sovereignty of our great nation. May their souls rest in perfect peace.”

Army Releases 983 Suspects Cleared Of Alleged Links With Boko Haram

A photo combination of repentant Boko Haram suspects and logo of the Nigerian Army.

 

The Nigerian Army has released 983 suspects cleared of alleged links with Boko Haram terrorists.

The Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Olusegun Adeniy, handed over the detainees to the Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara-Zulum in a ceremony in Maiduguri on Wednesday.

READ ALSO: Two Village Heads, Three Others Killed As Gunmen Attack Taraba Villages 

Adeniyi said the release is sequel to months of investigation in which the over  900 out of those detained at the military detention centre were found to be innocent.

Governor Zulum in response applauded the military for the release and assured that all is set to receive rehabilitation of the former detainees before reuniting them with their families.

The The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) recently published that 22,000 persons have disappeared since 2009 with their whereabouts unaccounted for in crisis ravaged north east Nigeria.

According to ICRC the figure of the missing persons is the highest number of missing persons registered with the organisation in any country.

The Red Cross said that some families were often separated while fleeing attacks, while others have had loved ones abducted or detained and do not know their whereabouts.

Some of the missing persons are believed to be in the custody of the Nigeria Army, following raids over suspicion of allegiance to Boko Haram.

Army Subdues Boko Haram Fighters, Rescues Eight In Borno

 

Following a reinvigorated drive to end the insurgency in Nigeria, the Army has continued to sustain the tempo of the ongoing Counter-Terrorism operations in the North East with a view to decimating and destroying the remnant Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa (ISWAP) criminals across the Operation LAFIYA DOLE Theatre.

In one of its numerous operations conducted across the Theatre on the 16th of November 2019, troops of 26 Task Force Brigade embarked on a clearance patrol to Dalu Village within the Mandara Mountains in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State.

According to an army communique, the operation follows some credible intelligence reports on the presence of criminal insurgents within that area.

On confirming the reports, troops soon established contact with the marauding terrorists and effectively subdued them with their superior firepower during the ensuing firefight.

READ ALSO: Five Insurgents Die As Troops Repel Multiple Attacks In Borno

Subsequently, the troops proceeded to thoroughly clear the Village of the presence of the criminal insurgents.

The army notes that the clearance operation yielded good dividends as the troops found and rescued an octogenarian, 3 women and 4 children hitherto held captives by the criminal insurgents.

The rescued victims were promptly evacuated and children among them were equally administered with Polio Vaccination by a Nigerian Army medical team.

Army Spokesman, Aminu Iliyasu stated that no causality was recorded by own troops during the commando operations.

He, however, adds that many of the Boko Haram criminal elements were observed to have fled in disarray towards the summit of the Mandara Mountains with gunshot wounds.

“The troops’ resilience and doggedness are unwavering as further exploitation to complete the annihilation of the insurgents are being sustained in the mountainous environment,” Colonel Iliyasu said.

He further stated that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai wishes to reassure the general public of the resolve of the Nigerian Army to continue to execute its constitutional mandate professionally and responsively for a better secured Nigeria.

Colonel Iliyasu also said that the COAS thanks all well-meaning Nigerians for their continued support, goodwill and understanding towards officers and men of the Nigerian Army as they sustain the conduct of various operations and routine exercises nationwide.

Nigerian Army Promotes 34 Brigadier Generals, 48 Colonels (Full List)

 

A total of 82 senior officers have been promoted by the Nigerian Army Council to the ranks of Major General and Brigadier General respectively.

A statement by the Acting Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa said 34 Brigadier Generals were promoted to the rank of a Major General, while 47 Colonels moved up to Brigadier Generals.

The announcement was highlighted with the posthumous promotion of Brigadier General OO Olatunde of the Headquarters 35 Brigade.

READ ALSO: Ibadan Polytechnic Examiner Bags 20-Year Jail Term For Malpractice

See the full list below:

Major General

  1. Brigadier General S Idris – Defence Headquarters Abuja.
  2. Brigadier General DC Onyemulu – Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre Oshodi Lagos.
  3. Brigadier General BO Sawyer – Army Headquarters Department of Policy and Plans.
  4. Brigadier General GS Abdullahi – Defence Headquarters Abuja.
  5. Brigadier General IM Obot – Nigerian Army Resource Centre, Abuja.
  6. Brigadier General AL Lawal – Nigerian High Commission, Cairo Egypt.
  7. Brigadier General LA Adegboye – Headquarters 82 Division Enugu.
  8. Brigadier General AB Ibrahim – Army Headquarters Training and Operations.
  9. Brigadier General PB Fakroga – Headquarters Nigerian Army Women Corps.
  10. Brigadier General CK Nwosu – Nigerian Army Special Forces School, Buni Yadi.
  11. Brigadier General HI Bature – Headquarters Training and Doctrine Command, Minna.
  12. Brigadier General AL Dusu – Defence Headquarters, Abuja.
  13. MA Masanawa – Ammunition Central Depot Agunu, Kachia.
  14. JA Ataguba – Land Forces Simulation Centre, Abuja.
  15. AE Attu – National Defence College, Abuja.
  16. BA Isandu – Nigerian Army Intelligence School, Lagos.
  17. SS Araoye – Command Engineering Depot Kaduna.
  18. MS Ahmed – SI List Nigerian Embassy Riyad.
  19. GAT Ochigbano – Army Headquarters Department of Military Secretary.
  20. TA Lagbaja – Headquarters 2 Brigade Abak Uyo.
  21. LA Fejokwu – Army Headquarters Department of Administration ‘Army’.
  22. PE Eromosele – National Defence College, Abuja.
  23. AM Alabi – Headquarters Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE Maiduguri.
  24. GO Adesina – Army Headquarters Department of Policy and Plans.
  25. MM Bunza – Nigerian Military School Zaria.
  26. AA Adesope – Directorate of Audit and Financial Management Office of the Chief of Army Staff.
  27. KI Muktar – Army Headquarters Department of Administration ‘Army’.
  28. OO Olatunde – Headquarters 35 Brigade, – (posthumously promoted).
  29. EA Ndagi – Office of the National Security Adviser.
  30. KO Aligbe – Defence Headquarters.
  31. UA Yusuf – African Standby Force ECOWAS Headquarters, Abuja.
  32. OC Ajunwa – Nigerian Embassy Brasilia.
  33. FO Omoigui – Army Headquarters Department of Training and Operations.
  34. OA Akinyemi – Administrative Staff College of Nigeria, Badagry, Lagos.

Brigadier General

  1. BYD Sakaba – Defence Headquarters Abuja.
  2. AY Bwala – 302 Artillery Regiment Onitsha.
  3. AA Adekoya – Defence Intelligence Agency.
  4. NJ Edet – Headquarters 81 Division, Lagos.
  5. EC Obi-Osang – Headquarters Nigerian Army Special Forces Command, Buni Yadi.
  6. AO Arogbofa – Headquarters 102 Division Equipment Support.
  7. S Nicodemus – Headquarters 6 Division Portharcourt.
  8. WB Idris – 17 Brigade, Katsina.
  9. IO Olatunji – Headquarters 8 Division, Sokoto.
  10. ST Audu – Headquarters 21 Brigade, Yola.
  11. UT Opuene – Headquarters Infantry Corps Centre, Jaji.
  12. MD Abumawashi – Headquarters Op LAFIA DOLE, Maiduguri.
  13. LG Lepdung – Headquarters Infantry Corps, Jaji, Kaduna.
  14. AOD Okoro – Department Administration ‘Army’.
  15. ASM Wase – Department of Training and Operations ‘Army’.
  16. AL Okpodu – Nigerian Army Aviation.
  17. S Nuhu – Army Headquarters Department of Training and Operations.
  18. EO OJO – Special Task Force, Operation SAFE HAVEN.
  19. JR Lar – 31 Artillery Brigade Garrison, Minna.
  20. SJA Ilori – Department of Army Transformation and Innovation.
  21. NB Ebulue – Defence Intelligence Agency.
  22. KO Ukandu – Army Headquarters Department of Administration.
  23. AG Laka – Army War College, Abuja.
  24. EI Etuk – Multinational Joint Task Force N’Djamena.
  25. ME Onoja – 1 Military Intelligence Brigade, Kaduna.
  26. EI Okoro – Nigerian Army War College.
  27. MB Wabili – Nigerian Army Super Camp Benisheik.
  28. KE Chigbu – Army Headquarters Department of Training and Operations.
  29. SO Nwafor – 303 Artillery Regiment General Support.
  30. I Otu – Headquarters 7 Division Maiduguri.
  31. SO Adejimi –  Headquarters 6 Division Supply and Transport.
  32. SD Makolo – Headquarters Department of Transformation and Innovation.
  33. VD Beryo – Headquarters Ordnance Corps.
  34. MO Erebulu – 2 Provost Group, Ibadan.
  35. A Idris – Directorate of Army Reserve Recruitment and Resettlement Rear.
  36. CA Ataki – Department of Policy and Plans ‘Army’.
  37. FO Omata – Special Task Force Operation SAFE HAVEN.
  38. CC Ogbu – Institute of Army Education.
  39. AE Owiriwa – 82 Division Ordnance Services.
  40. ROO Cole – Nigerian Army Ordnance Tailoring Factory Yaba, Lagos.
  41. TI Gusau – Nigerian Army Resource Centre Abuja.
  42. GC Nkenke – 8 Division Supply and Transport.
  43. M Galadima – Headquarters Nigerian Army Finance Corps Apapa, Lagos.
  44. M Auta – Nigerian Army University Biu.
  45. O Nwachukwu – Defence Headquarters Defence Information.
  46. I Ahmed – Nigerian Defence Academy Kaduna.
  47. S Nuhu – Army Headquarters Department of Administration.
  48. AAW Hassan – Armed Forces Command and Staff College.

Operation Positive Identification Is Intelligence-Driven, Says GOC 81 Division

 

The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Olubunmi Irefin, has defended the proposed Nationwide ‘Operation Positive Identification’ exercise, saying that it is solely driven by intelligence.

The GOC who delivered a lecture on ‘Contemporary security issues in the country’, at the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies  Afe Babalola University in Ado Ekiti, said that the operation is not meant to scare the public, but the insurgency war demands that they Army pre-empts the activities of the insurgents.

He revealed that over 20 suspected Boko Haram members were arrested recently in Lagos in their sleeper cell through the operation.

“It is an intelligence-driven operation; we actually know the kind of people we are looking for because we get information.

“It’s not that we are stopping everybody; we are helping you all live in peace. The insurgents just need one percent to rubbish our 99% success; so we try to pre-empt them, in the process, one or two individuals might just be bumped down and that is what Nigerians will escalate.

“If we paraded the over 20 persons we have arrested in Lagos through Operation Positive Identification, the whole Lagos will be in panic mood, all of them confessed to be members of Boko haram and they are quietly in their sleeper cell, so we should not go there to identify who they are, make an effort to pick them? So when they strike, the first person they will ask is the GOC, what are you doing to allow one Boko Haram? And it will make a mockery of my 99% success.”

READ ALSO: We Should Track Phone Conversations Between Kidnappers And Victims’ Families – Lawan

General Irefin who also spoke about the sums requested by the Army on military hardware in the fight against terrorism, asked critics to seek more enlightenment on what it takes to protect a nation against aggression and terrorism.

“A lot of people in this country don’t even know that the country is at war; it’s the military and Boko Haram. And so when they say give $1bn to the military, one “security expert” will say ‘change it to Naira’, you’re talking about N360bn as if we are going to buy bread and bean cake (Akara).

“We are talking about $1bn to buy equipment that can be knocked out at battle. What can $1bn buy; we are talking of tanks T92-2000, google it and see the price and now look at how many of such we need; don’t let us even go into aircraft and ships,” he said.

Court Orders Army To Suspend Operation Positive Identification

Man Bags 15 Years In Prison For N5.2m Fraud

 

A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the Nigerian Army and its Chief of Army Staff (COAS) to suspend the ongoing Operation Positive Identification by the army.

Justice Rilwanu Aikawa ordered both parties to maintain status quo ante pending the determination of a suit filed by Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Mr. Femi Falana.

Mr. Falana, a rights activist, filed the suit marked on October 25, seeking, among others, an order stopping the operation.

The COAS, the Army and the Attorney-General of the Federation are first to third respondents in the suit.

When the matter came up on Tuesday, none of the respondents were in court.

Falana informed the judge that the respondents had been served the processes and the proof of service was in the court’s file which was confirmed by the court.

READ ALSO: Buhari Appoints Sarah Alade As Special Adviser On Finance And Economy

But a Principal legal Officer from the Ministry of Justice, Mr. Adebayo Mokuolu, asked the judge to grant an adjournment to enable the Solicitor-General, Mr. Dayo Apata, handle the matter personally and also give the respondents time to harmonise their positions, a request Mr. Falana did not oppose.

Justice Aikawa, however, granted his application and adjourned further proceedings till November 18.

“In view of the agreement between counsels, I hereby order the first and second defendants to maintain the status quo, pending the determination of the case,” the judge added.

In the suit, Falana argued that the planned nationwide operation which will run from November 1 to December 23, 2019, by which Nigerian citizens would be required to move about with means of identification, is unconstitutional, illegal, and null and void.

He argued that the operation violates his right and that of other Nigerian citizens to liberty, “as encapsulated in Section 35 respectively of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as Amended and Article 6 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, (Cap A10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”

He filed along with the suit an order seeking an interim injunction restraining the three respondents from going on with the plan pending the hearing of the substantive suit.

In a supporting affidavit sworn to by a lawyer in his team, Mr. Taiwo Olawanle, the plaintiff recalled that on October 8, 2019, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai disclosed that Operation Positive Identification, said to be ongoing in the North East theatre of Boko Haram insurgency would be extended to cover the entire nation.

He said the operation required Nigerian citizens to move about with legitimate means of identification such as the National Identification Card, Voters Registration Card, Drivers’ Licence and passports or other valid official identification.

He noted that the increase in deployment of security forces nationwide would be with a potential of movement disruption, and the army had thus advised Nigerians to ensure that they always carry valid means of identification.

Falana argued that by virtue of Section 215 (3) of the Constitution, the Nigerian Police “has the exclusive power to maintain law and order and secure public safety and public order in the country” and not the army.

He contended that going by section 217(1) of the Constitution, the Nigerian President could only deploy the armed forces for the suppression of insurrection and acting in aid of civil authorities to restore law and order.

But he said, “There is no insurrection in every part of the country which the Nigeria police cannot contain to warrant the deployment of armed troops all over the country from November 1, 2019, to December 23, 2019.

“Neither the Constitution nor the Armed Forces Act Cap A20 LFN, 2004 has empowered the Nigeria Army to arrest any citizen who is not subject to service law.

“The 1st respondent (the Nigerian Army) under the leadership of the 2nd respondent is not empowered to take over police duties and the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces lacks the power to deploy members of the armed forces in the maintenance of internal security in any part of the country by virtue of Section 217 (a) (b) and (c) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.”

Boko Haram: Soldiers Behind Torture Video Will Be Apprehended, Says Army

Army Speaks About Recent Attacks On Military Bases In North East
A file photo of troops. Source: [email protected]

 

The Nigerian Army has promised to investigate a torture video showing the extrajudicial killing of a suspected Boko Haram terrorist, which has gone viral on the social media and punish the personnel behind it.

A statement by the Acting Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, condemned the act strongly by some soldiers yet to be identified.

“The attention of the Nigerian Army (NA) has been drawn to a video reportedly showing some NA personnel engaged in unprofessional torture and above all extrajudicial killing of a suspected Boko Haram terrorist likely in the North East Theatre of Operation.

“The NA wishes to clearly and strongly condemn the action of those involved (whoever they may be) in the misconduct, and that the dastardly act is completely unacceptable, unethical and is against the cherished core values of the NA especially that of respect for others and their fundamental rights.”

READ ALSO: Tiv, Jukun Crisis: Taraba Residents Praise Army For Reopening Roads

It added that troops in various theatre commands have been warned consistently to desist from rights infractions of any form, including extrajudicial killings and if such are found, investigated and confirmed, the erring personnel will be punished.

“NA training, Rules of Engagement and Standing Operating Procedures guiding the conduct of all her operations are unambiguous about human rights abuses and extra-judicial actions including the rights of the arrested/captured terrorists/combatants.

“Troops in the various theaters of operations in Nigeria, have been consistently warned to desist from rights infractions of any form no matter the amount of desperation, anger or provocation.

“NA does not license, encourage or condone indiscipline, unprofessional conduct especially extrajudicial execution of suspects or combatants. Where ever, such is noticed or reported, once it is confirmed, appropriate decisive sanction or punishment is usually immediately meted out to the perpetrators and this case would never be an exception.”

It stated that the gory video has prompted a thorough investigation in a bid to apprehend the culprits with the aim to deal with them in accordance with the extant military justice system.

Nigerian Army Cannot Operate Apartheid Passed Laws – The Week In Quotes

 

Here is what was said and who said what in the public sphere within the course of the passing week. 

1. “Nigerian Army cannot operate apartheid passed laws in Nigeria”

Mr Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), kicks against the proposed Operation Positive Identification (OPI).

2. “It does appear to me that government doesn’t seem to know what to do when it comes to doing what is supposed to be done”

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Jibrin Okutepa, faults the planned introduction of Operation Positive Identification across the country.

3. “Nigerians voted PDP, APC knows they were rejected”

The National Chairman of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus reacts to the Supreme Court’s verdict, he salutes Nigerians of all divide for their commitment and support to the party and to democracy.

4. “I fought a good fight for the Nigerian people”

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar says he will not relent for Nigeria and democracy regardless his defeat at the Supreme Court, in his case against President Muhammadu Buhari.

5. ” Supreme Court verdict is victory for democracy”

The Speaker of the House of the Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila describes the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari at the Supreme Court as a victory for democracy.

6. “I think Nigerians have voted, the Supreme Court has upheld the outcome, it’s time to support and close ranks and queue behind President Muhammdu Buhari.”

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) calls on Nigerians to close ranks and support President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration following the Supreme Court’s affirmation of his election victory.

7. “It is time the country is afforded the right to move on”

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the ruling of the Supreme Court, dismissing the appeal brought before them by Atiku Abubakar and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has afforded the country the ‘right to move on’.

8. “Nigeria has a lot to learn from Egypt in the fight against terrorism”

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, calls for more engagement between Nigeria’s National Assembly and the Egyptian parliament, with a view to sharing ideas that will address the challenges common to the two countries.

9. “Join us in calling the world to take action against Boko Haram”

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN says concerted action by countries around the world is crucial towards tackling terrorism in the Sahel region, as well as the challenges posed by Boko Haram and ISWAP in Africa.

10. “I am very proud of you”

President Muhammadu Buhari congratulates the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria for a fantastic beginning in the group opening match of FIFA World Cup Brazil 2019.

Operation Positive Identification: Why I Am Suing Nigerian Army – Falana

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, has given reasons why he is suing the Nigerian Army over the planned Operation Positive Identification.

Falana who spoke during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Thursday, said the Armed Forces have no constitutional rights to usurp the powers vested on the Nigeria Police in the nation’s internal security.

He advised the armed forces to concentrate their efforts in containing the activities of the Boko Haram terrorists in the northeast rather than embarking on the “planned harassment and intimidation of Nigerians.”

“I am praying the court to restrain the Armed Forces, the Nigerian Army permanently from subjecting Nigerians to such ridiculous harassment as they are planning.

“I am actually telling the court that majority of Nigerians do not have any means of identifying themselves. They do not have passports, driving licences, voters cards or international passports,” he said.

Falana Challenges Governors To Get Involved In Police Administration

When asked if he has secured a court injunction to stop the military from carrying out the exercise, he replied saying: “I am working seriously on an injunction.”

READ ALSO: Nigeria, Vietnam Sign Visa Waiver Deal For Diplomatic, Official Passport Holders

Speaking further, he warned the military against “subjecting Nigerians and other foreigners to a degrading and dehumanizing farce which is unknown to law.”

He argued that the “Constitution has vested the police the powers of maintaining internal security in Nigeria while the Armed Forces are in charge of defending the territorial integrity of the country.

“There are a number of court decisions, not less than five, that have made it pointedly clear that the military have no business in usurping police powers by attempting to maintain law and order in this country.”

Falana’s comments come two days after Nigerian Army described the viral post of planned nationwide ‘Operation Positive Identification’ (OPI) exercise credited to the Armed Forces as a ‘Fake Alert’.

In a social media post, the Army informed the public that the security advisory which is supposed to commence from November 1, 2019, to December 23, 2019, should be disregarded.

Fake News! Army Dismisses Report Of Operation Positive Identification Exercise

 

The Nigerian Army has regarded as ‘Fake Alert’ a viral post of planned nationwide ‘Operation Positive Identification’ (OPI) exercise credited to the Armed Forces.

In a social media post, the Army informed the public that the security advisory which is supposed to commence from November 1, 2019, to December 23, 2019, should be disregarded.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Over 5,955 Suspects, Rescue 826 In 2019

The advisory which was doctored with the Army logo was quoted as “Planned Nationwide Military Operation by the Nigerian Armed Forces.

“It has been officially declared that effective from 1st November 2019 to 23rd December 2019, residents shall witness large numbers of uniformed Nigerian Army Personnel parading the roads in an exercise known as OPI”

It added that residents should move around with valid means of identification, and obey all directives by security agents.

See photo below:

Improvised Explosives Kill Seven Insurgents, Injure Eight Others

 

Seven Boko Haram insurgents have been killed by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) laid by them against Nigerian Army troops at Lamba’a Forest along Jakana – Mainok Road in Borno State.

Also, eight others sustained severe injuries when their vehicle rode on the IED as they attempted to escape ground assaults by troops.

READ ALSO: Seven Killed As Governor Obaseki’s Advance Convoy Crashes With Car

A statement by the Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, troops mobilised to carry out the mop-up operation.

“In a clear case that can be best described as a tactical boomerang, on Friday, 18 October 2019, some marauding Boko Haram criminals elements who were escaping the unbearable battle heat turned on them by NA troops met their waterloo as one of their vehicles, a Toyota Sam Sahara Model, stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) laid by them against NA troops at Lamba’a Forest along Jakana – Mainok Road in Borno State.

“The self-inflicted destruction consumed 7 Boko Haram criminals while 8 others suffered severe injuries. Consequently, troops have mobilised to the general area for route clearance and mop-up operation.”

The statement added that troops deployed at a Check Point along Baga Road in Borno State while on ‘Operation Positive Identification’, arrested one Musa Ishaku while in possession of a fake Nigeria Customs ID card which he had been using to deceive security agencies.