The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday fixed April 23 to hear a suit seeking to stop the Federal Government from deploying the military instead of the police to maintain law and order in the 36 states of the federation.
Justice Binta Nyako fixed the date after granting an ex parte application filed by Malcolm Omirhobo, seeking leave of court to serve the originating motion on notice and accompanying court processes outside jurisdiction of the court.
Omirhobo, a human rights lawyer, dragged the Federal Government to court seeking the enforcement of the fundamental rights of 373 indigenous peoples within Nigeria.
Joined as respondents in the suit were the President, Attorney-General of the federation, National Assembly, Senate President and Speaker, House of Representatives.
Others are: Security Chiefs, Minister of Defence, governments of the 36 states of the federation, their attorneys-general and Houses of Assembly as well as the Federal Capital Territory.
Omirhobo, in the suit, asked the court to declare that the use of the Nigerian Military by the respondents in place of the Police in the enforcement and maintenance of law and order in Nigeria was oppressive.
He further asked the court to declare that it was a violation of the fundamental rights to life, dignity of human person, family and private life, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association as well as movement and freedom.
He added that as a result, it was illegal, unlawful, undemocratic and unconstitutional.
The human rights lawyer also sought for a declaration that the military intervention and occupation of the South-East, South-South Zones and the Niger Delta region was oppressive and a violation of the fundamental rights to life.
Among other prayers, he urged the court to compel the Inspector-General of Police to take charge of the enforcement and maintenance of law and order in the country.
The applicant also asked for a perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from further oppressing the people.
The application was supported by an affidavit deposed to by the applicant, where he averred that he was suing for the enforcement of the fundamental human rights of the over 500 indigenous peoples within Nigeria.
They include the 373 indigenous peoples and 44 pressure groups agitating for self-determination as well as the Nigerian public.
Omirhobo said: “That I solemnly swear that the problem of Nigeria is the re-negotiation of its unity by indigenous people through a peoples’ constitution to save it from becoming a failed state.”
Justice Nyako adjourned the matter until April 23 for hearing.