Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The military and elections

A federal high court judge in Lagos has ruled, following precedent, that the Nigerian military cannot be used to oversee elections without the approval of the National Assembly, according to this account. Justice Ibrahim Buba wrote:
The armed forces have no role in elections. 
The time has come for us to establish the culture of democratic rule in the country and to start to do the right thing particularly when it has to do with dealing with the electoral process which is one of the pillars of democracy. 
In spite of the behaviour of the political class, we should by all means try to keep armed personnel and military from being a part and parcel of the electoral process. 
The state is obligated to confine the military to their very demanding assignment, especially in this time of insurgencies by keeping them out of elections. The state is also obligated to ensure that citizens exercise their franchise freely and unmolested.
It's not about military justice, but it is about the role of the military in a democratic society. A little topic creep for Global Military Justice Reform, but perhaps readers will find it worth knowing about, given this blog's other coverage of Nigeria.

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