Posted by News Express | 27 December 2017 | 1,959 times
Under a military regime, the head of state rules by promulgation of decrees through the Supreme Military Council/Armed Forces Ruling Council.
However, under a civilian government - with the attendant democracy in place - the Constitution is the grundnorm, the supreme document that defines the functions and extent of powers of both elected and appointed public office holders. Under this arrangement, the Constitution provides a federal system with arms of government: Executive (president and governors), Legislature (National Assembly and states’ assemblies) and Judiciary (courts with various hierarchies). Their respective powers are clearly defined by the provisions of the Constitution. Before taking up these offices, all, including the President, swore an oath to preserve the sanctity of the Constitution and uphold its provisions to the letter. Any action outside the provisions of the Constitution amounts to unconstitutionality and abuse of office, which are impeachable at the instance of the president or governors.
Section 217 sub-section 2(a)(b)(c)(d) defines the functions of the Armed Forces of the Federation, thus:
(a) defending Nigeria from external aggression
(b) maintaining its territorial integrity and securing its borders from violation on land, sea or air
(c) suppressing insurrection and acting in aid of civil authorities to restore order when called upon to do so by the president, but subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly
(d) performing such other functions as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.
Furthermore, on the composition of the Armed Forces, Section 217 sub-section 3 states: “The composition of the officer corps and other ranks of the armed forces of the Federation shall reflect the federal character of Nigeria.”
Now, my humble questions:
Is there any insurrection warranting the present military intervention in South-east, particularly Abia State?
Was there an Act of the National Assembly vetting or giving legitimacy to the current military siege in Abia State?
This is just an innocent question from a citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
•Fortune Oguwuike, human right activist and public affairs analyst, is National Coordinator, South East Youth Consultative Forum.
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