Human rights lawyer, Chief Malcom Omirhobo has sued the federal government of Nigeria, the security chiefs and the government of the 36 states of the federation at the Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking to restrain the military from embarking on operation crocodile smile 111 in the Niger Delta region of the country.
Joined as plaintiff in the fundamental rights enforcement action is Malcom Omirhobo Foundation, while the attorney general of the federation, National Assembly, Nigerian Police Service Commission, Nigerian Police Council, Nigerian Police Affairs Commission, minister of defence and the commissioners of Police across the states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are joined as defendants.
The applicants are asking the court to declare that the military operations violate their fundamental human rights to life, dignity of human person, personal liberty, family and private life and therefore illegal.
They also prayed for a declaration that operation Python Dance 111 in the South East is a violation of the rights of the Nigerian public resident in the area and therefore Undemocratic and unconstitutional.
In addition, the applicants want the court to declare that maintenance of law and order and the enforcement of law in Nigeria is the primary and constitutional responsibility of the Nigeria Police Force and not the Nigeria Armed forces.
They therefore, prayed the court to order the defendants to evacuate the military from the zone as well as an order mandating the Police to take charge of enforcement of law and order in those zones.
Omirhobo also asked for a perpetual injunction, restraining the president and other defendants from using armed forces to perform the duties of the Police.
Supported by 112-paragraph affidavit personally deposed to, by the 2nd applicant, Omirhobo averred that he is a lawyer from Ughelli in Niger Delta Region of Nigeria.
He swore that as a minister in the temple of justice with the commission to defend the constitution of Nigeria at all times, it has become necessary to seek for courts intervention as a result of the military operations in the two zones despite protest from members of the public.
His words: “That the first and second rounds of both exercises led to the wanton violation of the fundamental and human rights of the Nigerian Public in the South East Zone and Niger Delta Region of Nigeria respectively.
That as a result of the first and second rounds of both exercises, a lot of the Nigerian Public in the South East Zone and Niger Delta Region of Nigeria went missing and unaccounted for.
According to him, the people are yet to recover from the trauma and damning effects of the first and second military operations, adding that further operations would be disastrous to the people.