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Insecurity: We Need Firearms For Self-Defence, Nigerian Lawyer Tells Court

*Court hears firearm revocation suit September 30


Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court Abuja, on Thursday, fixed September 30 for hearing in an application restraining the presidency from revoking firearm licences of Nigerians.

The motion for the interlocutory injunction was filed by the Board of Incorporated Trustees of Malcolm Foundation.

On May 22, President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law with executive powers to remove, revoke, and banish all firearm or shotgun certificate or licence in Nigeria.

This executive order started June 1.

Justice Okukwu said after careful consideration of the averments of the plaintiff said she found them to be weighty and in relation to the public interest.

She, therefore, said the defendant should be put on notice in order to show cause, why the relief sought by the plaintiff should not be entertained.

Chief Malcolm Omirhobo, a constitutional lawyer and the plaintiff, in his adumbration, told the court that the Nigerian constitution provided for the inalienable right for self-defence.

The lawyer said Nigerians with a firearm licences were responsible citizens who are law-abiding and the revocation of their licences will automatically violate their right to self-defence.

He further said the withdrawal of firearms from responsible citizens shall leave them vulnerable to incessant attacks from foreign elements purportedly assailing the country.

Omirhobo maintained that though the firearms act has given the president the power to withdraw licences, the constitution has also given individuals the right to life and self-defence.

He asked what will happen to self-defence in a situation where there were not enough police with guns and guns are withdrawn, arguing that it is dangerous for the executive to revoke the firearm licences, considering the reality of the security situation in the country.

The lawyer moved the motion after telling the court that the motion was supported by 73 paragraph affidavit with nine exhibits.

“We have a certificate of compliance dated May 24 and a written address in support of the application and wish to adopt the averments alongside the exhibits,’’ he said.