A federal High Court has ruled that the Nigerian Army has no power to compel Nigerians to carry any form of identity as they go about their daily routines.
The ruling caused a setback for the Army’s “Operation Positive Identification” as the court ruled that the Nigerian Army lacks the power to implement such programme.
Justice Rilwan Aikawa who presided over the Fundamental Rights Enforcement suit lawsuit filed by fiery human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), against the planned exercise by the Army, gave the ruling.
Falana who asked the court to dismiss the idea behind the exercise, stressed that it is illegal and unconstitutional for the court to uphold an act that would require Nigerians to move around with a valid means of identification such as the National Identification Card, Voters Registration Card, Drivers’ Licence and passports or other valid official identification.
The federal high court judge, ruling on the case, affirmed that the Nigerian Army has no power under the Nigerian constitution to subject civilians to such operation.
The judge ruled that the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people to liberty and freedom of movement would be violated by the planned positive identification.