A human rights activist and an Abuja-based lawyer, Oleka Udenze, has dragged President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
They were dragged to the court over a planned military operation tagged Operation Python Dance 3 in the five South-East states.
Also joined in the suit are Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, General Abayomi Gabriel Olanisakin and the Chief of Army staff, COAS, General Tukur Buratai.
The lawyer is praying the court to determine, “Whether having regards to the provision of sections 1 (1) and (3) of Armed Forces Act, Cap A20, laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, the defendants are conferred with the statutory power to deploy soldiers and officers of the Nigeria Army to the streets of the South-East states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and lmo, without the approval of the National Assembly other than for purposes related to or connected with its statutorily prescribed powers and functions.
“Whether in the light of the provision of section 42 (1) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) the defendants’ deployment of soldiers to the South-East states is discriminatory and amounts to a gross violation of the constitution.
“Whether having regards to the facts, exhibits and depositions in the verifying affidavit hereto attached, the purported military Operation Python Dance and the deployment of soldiers to the South East has any place in our laws.”
The plaintiff filed the case on behalf of himself and the people of the South East and is also praying the court to declare that the 1st defendant acted ultra vires his powers and functions as statutorily conferred on him under the Armed Forces Act,” among other prayers.
“A declaration that the conduct of the defendants was biased and in contravention of the rules of natural justice and constitutional right to freedom from discrimination by deploying soldiers and laying siege to the south-east despite not being in a period of war nor a restive region.
“A declaration that the defendants lack the statutory powers to deploy soldiers to the South-East region and any other place in Nigeria without the consent of the national assembly.
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from deploying soldiers to the streets of the south-east for Operation Python Dance 3 or any other operation under any guise and form.”