SANs tackle FG over threat to declare state of emergency in Anambra -GCFRNG
Nigeria’s leading defenders SAN on Wednesday deplored the federal government’s threat to declare a state of emergency in Anambra state, in case the security situation in the state does not improve.
In separate interviews with Vanguard, senior attorneys argued that such an action by FG could worsen the security situation, not only in Anambra state, but throughout the southeastern region.
They argued that the situation in Anambra state has not reached the point where President Muhammadu Buhari can invoke his constitutional powers to declare a state of emergency in the state, even though they urged exploring other alternatives.
Mohammed Abeny, SAN, said: “I don’t see that the situation in Anambra is worse than what is happening in Borno, Zamfara or even in the state of Niger. To kill is to kill, except that FG’s decision will be political, since the Anambra government is not the same as the center party.
“No one is happy with what is happening in Anambra, but it is the main duty of the government to stop it before talking about declaring a state of emergency.
“It is common knowledge that around 11 LGAs in a northern state were under Boko Haram. The state governor himself said so, but a state of emergency has not been declared there. Then you have Borno and Zamfara.
“I agree that the President has constitutional power, but he has not reached that stage where he can exercise that power. He has not explored other alternatives. If he is going to declare a state of emergency in Anambra, he must do so in Borno, Zamfara, Niger and other states ”.
Likewise, Professor Epiphany Azinge, SAN, said: “If it has reached a point where the correct mindset of the government, that the only way to restore peace is through the declaration of a state of emergency, don’t Think that will be unacceptable or unfavorable.
“However, what people will think is a comparative study, in the sense that a state of emergency has not been declared in many parts of the country where there has been a high level of insecurity.
“With what Boko Haram has done in the northeast, one should have imagined that a state of emergency would have been declared there. Many lives and property have been lost there, with the regular kidnapping of students.
“In the Southeast, what we have seen is the IPOB ordering a sit-at-home. If he graduates to the declaration of a state of emergency, it will make the situation worse.
“I don’t think such action is of any use. For me, it will be a kind of firefighter approach that can lead to guerrilla warfare. It can lead to a well-defined war that does not bode well for peace.
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“I do not support what is happening in Anambra. Some of us have had reason to postpone commitments there. But I don’t think the situation justifies the declaration of a state of emergency.
“I would have imagined that such a declaration would be made in places where there has been a total declaration of war against the Federal Government. Where territories have been claimed by terrorists.
“I am not convinced that declaring a state of emergency is the correct approach. The situation is likely to get worse, “she added.
According to Paul Ananaba, SAN: “I don’t think FG declares a state of emergency in Anambra. There is no total breakdown of the law in the state. What is happening in Anambra does not go beyond what is happening in Borno.
“What is happening in Anambra is not acceptable, but we cannot, in an attempt to cure a disease, cause more damage.
“I do not support the declaration of a state of emergency. What I believe is that FG should strengthen security in the state ”.
For his part, Prof. Ernest Ojukwu, SAN, said: “The declaration of a state of emergency in any part of Nigeria should only be appealed if there is a true state of emergency in the letters and spirit of the Constitution.