Senate moves to restrict use of Arms in certain internal security operations by Military

The move by the senate to put in place a law to restrict the use of Arms in certain internal Security Operations by the Armed Forces yesterday got a boost as the bill scaled second reading.

The bill provides for an effective legal framework for the use of armed forces in internal security operations as well as ensure the observance of the rules of engagement and international conventions on the use of force and fire arms by the armed forces during internal operations.

In his lead debate yesterday, Senator David Umaru, APC, Niger East, sponsor of the Bill titled, ” Armed Forces( Restriction on Use in Certain Internal Security Operations, etc) Bill, 2017″, A bill for an Act to regulate the use of the armed forces of the Federation in internal security operation and for this purpose prescribe the conditions and procedure for its deployment in aid to civil security authorities to suppress domestic emergencies such as insurrection, civil disturbances, ethno- religious clashes, interdiction of Narcotics, drug and controlled substances; joint military and police anti-robbery patrol; and for related matters, said that the Bill would promote information sharing and effective collaboration between the armed forces and the Civil Security authorities in the interest of Nigeria’s counter-terrorism campaign.

According to him, it will also stipulate conditions, procedure and other safeguards in the use of the armed forces in internal security operations, adding that it would also ensure that the military capability of the armed forces to discharge its primary constitutional duty is not undermined and the statutory responsibilities of the civil security authorities is not unintentionally stultified.

He said that the Bill would stipulate punitive measures against arbitrary use of the armed forces as well as promote accountability regarding the use of the armed forces in aid to civil security authorities.

Senator Umaru said that the Armed Forces of the Federation as contained in the Bill would include the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air-force, the Nigeria Navy and such other branches of the armed forces of the federation as may be established by an Act of the National Assembly.

Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu who presided over yesterday’s plenary, referred the Bill to the Committee on Defence, with four weeks to report back.

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