Army lacks power to subject civilians to identification process – Court rules


The Nigerian Army’s “Operation Positive Identification” has suffered a setback as a federal high court sitting has ruled that the Nigerian Army lacks the power to implement such programme. 

Justice Rilwan Aikawa presided over the Fundamental Rights Enforcement suit lawsuit filed by Femi Falana (SAN), against the planned exercise by the Army. The human rights activist who asked the court to dismiss the idea behind the exercise, insisted 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. 

Ruling on the case, the federal high court judge affirmed that the Nigerian Army has no power under the Nigerian constitution to subject civilians to such positive identification proces.

Aikawa held that the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people to liberty and freedom of movement would be breached by the planned positive identification.