Lagos Court Bans Soldiers From Polling Stations

Lagos High Court has banned the Nigerian government from disposing soldiers to voting stations during the coming elections.

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Nigeria’s main opposition party, All Progressives Congress (APC) has kicked against the use of soldiers during elections stating that it is not known to democracy.

Justice Ibrahim Buba, the governing judge, in his ruling said that it’s unconstitutional to dispose army for the regulation of poll purposes without the support of the national assembly.

The ruling of the court, was result to a suit filed by Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, a member of House of Representative on behalf of Surulere Federal Constituency 2 on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the President, Chief of Defence Staff, Chief Of Army, Chief of Air Force, Chief of Naval Staff and Attorney General of Federation.

‪In his argument, Seni Adio, lawyer to the plaintiff, claimed that there was a claim and fact that military make free movement, free access and pressure of voters in states of Osun, Ekiti, and Anambra where army was disposed.

‪Adio argued further it’s not ideal to position troops to oversee election in a democratic setting.

‪So, based on these occurrence of Osun, Ekiti and Anambra, he advised the court to refrain the defendants from using army in the upcoming polls.

‪Meanwhile, Mr. Dele Adeashina, SAN, opposed the appeal on the ground that the president being the Command in Chief of the Armed forces, is permitted under Armed Forces Acts to arrange military to maintain law and order.

‪In his response, Adio said Armed Forces Acts, is minor to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

It should be noted that there was panic in Kwara state over the weekend as locals saw troops in the streets.

It was reported that President Goodluck Jonathan may have ordered that soldiers be stationed in some states in disobedience of court verdicts that the military has no role in elections.

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