Civil society organisations have filed a suit against the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), Chief of Army staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai and General Officer Commanding (GOC) 82nd Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Emmanuel Boman Kabuk, over infringement of fundamental rights through military operations.
The organisations, comprising International Human Rights and Equity Defense Foundation (I-REF), Igbo Ekunie Initiative (IEI) and International Society for the Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) filed the action following the declaration made on August 16, by Kabuk to commence Operation Python Dance III in the South East.
The plaintiffs said the operation is coming in the aftermath of the previous python dance I and II carried out in Southeast in 2017, which resulted in violation of peoples right.
In the suit marked FHC/Awk/cs/94/18 filed before the High Court of Anambra State, Awka, the plaintiffs prayed the court to declare that the operation is a threat to the right to freedom and liberty of movement of the residents of the south East as enshrined under section 41 of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria, including the plaintiffs.
They are also asking for an order of injunction restraining the respondents from taking further steps in connection with the operation pending the determination of the suit.
The plaintiffs said the military operation in the southeast is unconstitutional and unacceptable.
According to them, human rights are sacrosanct and history would likely repeat itself if the Nigerian Army is not put in check.
The plaintiffs in a 20-paragraph affidavit averred that the Army arrested and detained many persons throughout the duration of the exercise and their offences were neither defined nor were they brought before any court for trial.
The deponent swore that the Army shot at unarmed protesters in a brazen disregard of the extant rules of engaging civilians, adding that many people that went missing are yet to be found since then, causing many families to be thrown into a state of despicable uncertainties.