Against the backdrop of its role in the 2019 general election, militarisation of some parts of the country and allegations of human rights abuses in its operations, the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, yesterday declared that the military must act within the law during military operations.
But the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadidue Abubakar, insisted that the Nigerian military was guided by the law of armed conflict.
Speaking as a special guest of honour at the 2019 Law of Armed Conflict Retreat for Nigerian Air Force legal officers held at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) headquarters in Abuja, Justice Muhammad said the military institution was critical to the success of any democracy and must act within the laws during military operations.
“I want to reiterate that considering the asymmetric nature of the type of war we now engage in, the military cannot function effectively without public support.
“If we juxtapose this with the increasing focus and criticisms of military operations at both local and international levels, the need to act within the laws during military operations therefore becomes undeniably imperative,” he said.
The acting CJN said the military was critical to the success of any democracy.
“For me, the military is very critical to the success of any democracy. After all, of what use will our great wealth be if not well defended?” He said.