From Chidi Nnadi, Enugu
A Federal High Court in Enugu Tuesday reserved judgment for December 22 I n the suit against the federal government by the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) on deployment of soldiers to the South-East zone for military operation code-named “Operation Python Dance 2.’
The court presided over by Justice A. M. Liman had earlier ordered the accelerated hearing of the case with President Muhammadu Buhari, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Yusuf Buratai and the Nigerian Army as defendants.
ADF through its counsel, Max Ozoaka, is praying the court to declare that the action of the defendants, especially the first defendant, “in calling out, operationally engaging or deploying the armed forces of the Federation to the South-eastern part of the country is illegal, unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.”
In his submission during the resumed hearing on the matter, ADF’s counsel argued that there was need for the court to answer the questions raised by the plaintiff.
While insisting that the actions of the defendants were unconstitutional, he prayed the court to declare them illegal infringement.
Ozoaka also submitted that the deployment of soldiers to the South-East zone trampled upon the rights of residents and citizens of the zone, stressing that there was need for the court to condemn the Operation Python Dance 2, as well as declare the action of the president unconstitutional.
He faulted the reasons given for the deployment of soldiers by the defendants, saying that they could not justify their actions since the police could have handled the matter.
He argued that even if the soldiers were to be deployed to the South-East, the National Assembly should have been notified and involved in the process, insisting that they should have allowed the lawmakers to carryout their duties in accordance with the constitution.
After listening to the arguments of the counsel to the plaintiff, Justice Liman adjourned the case to December 22 this year for judgment.
The defendants were, however, absent from court.