By FEMI FALANA
The argument continues from yesterday that democracy should be a government of the people and not that of the rich and powerful
IN order to prevent another economic recession, both NGF and ALGON should demand for the immediate reform of the CBN. The CBN should be run by professionals of integrity and supervised by a Board constituted by the representatives of the federal, state and local governments.
To achieve the objective, the CBN Act should be amended to protect the interests of the states and local governments.
In particular, the board of the CBN should be constituted by the accredited representatives of the three tiers of Government.
Why Nigeria is not secured
By virtue of section 214 of the Constitution there shall be the Nigeria Police Force and no other police force shall be established for the Federation or any part thereof. But contrary to the clear and unambiguous provision of the Constitution, President Olusegun Obasanjo decided to establish the National Defence and Security Corps in 2003.
As soon as a bill was forwarded to the National Assembly for the establishment of the Corps, I called on state governments to demand for the creation of state police agencies. The call fell on deaf ears at the material time. Apart from enacting the law to establish another police force the Federal Government has since authorised certain agencies like EFCC, ICPC, SSS, NDLEA, Customs, Immigration, Correctional Centres and Federal Road Safety Corps to bear arms and perform the duties of the police. In spite of the decentralisation of police powers at the centre the Federal Government has continued to kick against the creation of state police service on the ground that it is unconstitutional!
No doubt, based on the virtual collapse of the security architecture of the neocolonial State, the Federal Government has grudgingly allowed state governments to create state or regional security outfits. But they are not allowed to bear arms.
Thus, the personnel of the regional security outfits who are armed with cutlasses and dane guns are are expected to commit suicide by confronting AK-47 bearing terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, herders and robbers.In view of the fact that the civilian Joint Task Force operatives are given licences to bear arms and ammunition, I have asked state governments to sue the Federal Government for refusing to grant licences to the personnel of regional security outfits for allowing dangerous criminals to breach the constitutional rights of unarmed citizens to life and dignity. Furthermore, it is discriminatory to deny licences to 5,000 state security personnel to bear arms to protect millions of unarmed citizens while a few individuals are granted licences to acquire weapons to protect themselves and their family members.
Curiously, some state governors have also complained about the refusal of the National Security Adviser to approve the applications for End Users Certificates for importation of drones to monitor and expose terrorists and kidnappers hiding in the forests. With respect, such sabotage of security ought to be challenged in the Federal High Court as the National Security Adviser has not been conferred with the power by any law to grant or reject the requests of governors to acquire equipment to secure the areas that have been exposed to danger by the Federal Government.
The governors should have directed the requests to President Buhari who has publicly challenged them to adopt all necessary measures to secure the states since he has asked them to stop rushing to the Villa to complain about insecurity or killings by criminal gangs. In the Attorney-General of Rivers v Attorney-General of the Federation, the Federal High Court has held that it is the sole responsibility of the Federal Government to fund the Nigeria Police Force. Therefore, the executive should submit a supplementary money bill to the National Assembly for the funding of the police since it is the constitutional duty of the police to maintain law and order in the country.
No doubt, by virtue of section 217 of the Constitution the President is empowered to invite members of the armed forces to aid civil authorities when there is insurrection which cannot be suppressed by the police. Neither the Constitution nor the Armed Forces Act justifies the deployment of the armed forces to maintain internal security in a democratic dispensation.
In other words, the deployment of troops in the Federal Capital Territory and the 36 states of the Federation to perform police duties should be stopped, while the police should be adequately funded to guarantee law and order in the country. However, the President should be stopped from further deploying troops without the approval of the National Assembly.
It should be recalled that between 2014 and 2015, some concerned APC members filed three cases in the Federal High Court against the deployment of troops by the Jonathan administration without the approval of the National Assembly.
Being paper presented by Femi Falana, SAN, at the 50th anniversary interactive session held by the Abeokuta Club on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 at Abeokuta, Ogun State