February 1, 2020

Akin Alabi moves to legalize use of military camouflage by civilians

Akin Alabi

Akin Alabi

Akin Alabi

The member representing Egbeda/Ona Ara Federal Constituency of Oyo State in the House of Representatives, Akin Alabi, has revealed plans to repeal the law criminalising the use of military camouflage by Nigerians.

Akin Alabi stated this via his twitter handle as a result of a lot of young Nigerians sending him messages lamenting the rate at which they get beaten for wearing military uniforms.

According to him, the law stopping civilians from putting on the military camouflage is archaic, stating that Nigeria is among a few countries where it is illegal to wear the military camouflage.

He wrote: “Nigeria is one of the countries where it is illegal to wear a military camouflage. Some other countries are Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Antigua and others How does this make sense?

“I get a lot of messages from young Nigerians complaining about being harassed by soldiers because they wore military camouflage. While I don’t agree it makes sense, it is clearly stated in our laws that it is illegal to wear a camouflage or any clothings worn by the military.

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“Section 110(1), Criminal Code states that it is illegal for a non-military person to wear the uniform of the armed forces, or any part of the uniform of such forces, or any dress having the appearance or bearing any of the regimental or other distinctive marks of such uniforms.

“There are two exceptions. You can wear it if you have the approval from a governor of the president. The other option is if you wear it during an entertainment performance, like in a Nollywood movie or a music video. The penalty for this is 1-month imprisonment or a fine of N10.

“So the law is clear. Do not wear a camouflage. But does the law make sense? I’m sure some people will argue it does. Many will say it doesn’t. I’m one of those that say it doesn’t and I thought it would make a lot of sense to repeal that law.

“Not only is it an archaic law, one major reason why I believe the law has to be repealed is because many soldiers ride on the law to abuse the rights Nigerians. We have heard numerous cases of Nigerians being beaten for wearing the camouflage.

“I decided to put together a bill so we can repeal this law but I gathered that a distinguished Senator has already submitted a similar bill. I will be waiting for it’s progress. If nothing happens in a few months, I will push mine. For now, I wait.