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Court halts Army’s Operation Positive Identification

On Tuesday, 5th November 2019, the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos ordered the suspension of a military exercise tagged, ‘Operation Positive Identification’, and required that the Nigerian Army maintain status quo pending the final determination of the suit. Human Rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) who instituted the suit against the Nigerian Army, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) over the operation organised by the Nigerian Army, is urging the court to declare it unconstitutional, illegal, as well as null and void.

It would be recalled that the Army had announced that it would be embarking on ‘Operation Positive Identification’ between 1st November and 23rd December 2019, in which military personnel would request a means of identification from individuals to ascertain their nationality, an operation the Army claimed was aimed at detecting members of terrorist groups fleeing from the North East region of the country. This announcement was met with criticisms with regard to a number of issues, including the legality of the operation and its scope of coverage. With a reputation for impunity and gross human rights abuses, citizens fear that the Nigerian military will inflict serious abuses if the operation is allowed to go on.

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