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Zamfara: Constitution Does Not Give Governors Power To Use Police – General Irabor

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, has said that the constitution of the country does not give state governors power for the use of Police and other armed forces in any situation.

Reacting to the order by the Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle to the people of the state to bear arms for the purpose of defending themselves against bandits, General Irabor said that such order was ill conceived, and that the armed forces and other security agencies are there to handle the challenges.

The Chief of Defence Staff, who spoke with newsmen today, June 27 on the matter at the opening of the Joint Exercise for the National Defence College and War Colleges of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, code named “Exercise Grand Nationale,” in Abuja, said that he is yet to understand the basis for asking the citizens of Zamfara state to bear arms.

“If what I read is true, I do not also think that the governor has the power to instruct the commissioner of police to issue licenses, because the commissioner of police does not have the powers to issue licenses.”

General Irabor emphasized that the armed forces is only an instrument of policy implementation and does not take instructions from state governments, adding that the constitution gives rights and powers only to the Commander-in-Chief for the use of the armed forces.

He said that in this circumstance, it is the responsibility of the Attorney General of the Federation to look at the constitution and the laws to see whether the governor had such powers.

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“I believe that, in my view, it is not the right way to go.

“Of course, there are actions that members of the security agencies and the armed forces, in particular, the police and other security agencies, are doing to address insecurity in Zamfara and environs.

“Beyond that, of course, there are other legal issues, other issues of governance, issues that the government could have addressed using the instrumentality of the law that are available for him to bring greater peace and security.

“But like I said, I do not intend to say much about it, but I believe that the Federal Government, using the Attorney General, will look at the details of that press release and give further instruction.

“I believe that what we are doing in Zamfara and of course, across the states of the federation, is in deference to the provisions of the constitution.

“So, we are there because we are there to give support to the civil authority, in this case, the police.

“We do not need to restate what the issues are that have led to the deployment of military across the country but then, like I said, we are doing the very best to ensure that peace returns to every part of the country,” he said.

Source: PRNigeria.

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