Sahara Reporters claims that human rights attorney Femi Falana (SAN) has reaffirmed his opposition to Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), distancing himself from Nigerians’ right to keep and bear arms for self-defense against criminals. In a recent interview with Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Falana reiterated that it is false to say that Nigerians do not have the right to possess arms, citing the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution, which expressly provides the right to self-defense. CONTINUE FULL READING>>>>>
According to the senior lawyer, both the Penal Code applicable in the North and the Criminal Code applicable in the South recognize the right to self-defence. He clarified that obtaining a license is a prerequisite for legal firearm possession, stating, “Yes, but you are required to apply for the license.”
Falana highlighted that under Section 33 of the Constitution, which safeguards the right to life, there are exceptions. He explained, “Somebody will not be said to have lost his right to life under the constitution if he loses his life because some force was applied while he/she was trying to kill another person or to steal my property.”
The lawyer stressed the importance of proportionality in the use of force, emphasizing that it must align with the threat faced. He provided scenarios where individuals are permitted to deploy reasonable force in self-defence, citing the Firearm Act, which mandates the application for a firearm license.
He went further to point out the fact that in the past, the federal and state governments set up judicial panels of inquiry but their reports and recommendations were never implemented and those who were arrested were not prosecuted.
According to him, “the major problem that the federal and state governments have refused to address is the refusal of the government to establish ranches for herdsmen. Before President Buhari left office, he made available N6.2 billion to build ranches in Katsina alone but when I challenged other states to claim same amount of money for ranches, none of them did.” CONTINUE FULL READING>>>>>