Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana has asked the Federal Government to probe the involvement of military personnel in Rivers and other states during the 2019 general elections.
Falana in a statement issued on Tuesday indicated that the Nigerian Army was not deployed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) or President Muhammadu Buhari, to provide security in any of the collation centres in Rivers, tagging their role as ‘illegal’.
Falana said: “From the information at our disposal the Nigerian Army was not deployed by the INEC to provide security in any of the collation centres in Rivers State during the Governorship election on March 9, 2019. Neither were they deployed by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
“Therefore, the Federal Government is called upon to investigate the illegal deployment of the armed personnel in Rivers State and other states during the 2019 general elections with a view to sanctioning the military personnel and their civilian collaborators who engaged in the intimidation and brutal killing of voters who trooped out to exercise their franchise on March 9, 2019.”
He, however, called on president Buhari to act fast and put an end to militarisation of the electoral process, making reference to court rulings in previous elections in the country.
“However, it is pertinent to point out that as a result the several cases filed by the chieftains of the former ACN and CPC as well as APC from 2003 – 2015 our courts declared the deployment of the armed forces in the conduct of elections in Nigeria illegal and unconstitutional.
“Having fought the PDP-led government for turning elections in Nigeria into a “do or die” affair President Buhari owes the country and posterity a duty to put an end to the militarisation of the electoral process.”