‘The court has ruled that the military (and even the EFCC and the Police) lacks the power to declare anyone wanted without seeking a court order‘ -Inibehe

By Ime Silas

Lagos-based human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong Esq, has questioned the powers of the Nigerian military authorities to declare wanted by the Armed Forces persons suspected to be involved in last month’s killing of military personnel in Okuama community in Delta State.

It would be recalled that a total of 17 personnel including Officers and soldiers were gruesomely murdered during what the military authorities tagged as ‘peace mission’ in the oil-rich area of the Niger Delta State.

Few days later, eight persons including a female and a traditional ruler were declared wanted by the Armed Forces in connection with the killing, thereby triggering questions as to their rights within Nigerian Constitution to so do.

Speaking on the development, Inibehe Effiong whose views were obtained from his social media handle said “Assuming the Armed Forces concludes their ‘investigation’ and finds that the people they declared wanted or arrested are culpable in the killing of 17 soldiers in Okuama community, what will be their next line of action? 

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Will the military then summarily execute them or will the culprits be made to face a court-martial? Civilians are not subject to Service law and cannot be tried in a court martial”.

While expressing his concerns over the handing over to the military of the wanted Traditional Ruler who voluntarily turned himself after being declared wanted, the fierce lawyer hinted that it’s against a subsisting court ruling.

“I am wondering why the Delta State Police Command handed over the traditional ruler declared wanted by the military who voluntarily turned himself in to the military. This is questionable and explanations should be offered.

The court has ruled that the military (and even the EFCC and the Police) lacks the power to declare anyone wanted without seeking a court order. 

The killing of our soldiers is condemnable and reprehensible. I want those who killed them to be fished out and punished in line with the law. However, we should not concede to the continuous abuse of our institutions and desecration of our laws”.

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Inibehe Effiong is also a democrat and a well schooled humanist. His legal artworks appear to have been rated higher than others because of his unbiased way of reasoning.

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