Justice Ibrahim Buba gave the verdict in a suit filed by a member of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, against President Goodluck Jonathan and five others.He said: “It is unconstitutional to deploy the military for the supervision of elections without the approval of the National Assembly.”Counsel to the plaintiff, Seni Adio, maintained that there were allegations and evidence that the military restricted free movement, free access and intimidated voters in Osun, Ekiti and Anambra where they were deployed for elections.According to him, it is not ideal to deploy the military for the supervision of elections in a democratic setting, adding that the Armed Forces Act is subordinate to the Constitution.He prayed the court to restrain the defendants from using the military in the forthcoming elections. But the defendants’ lawyer, Dele Adesina(SAN), argued that the president, being the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, is empowered under the Armed Forces Act to deploy the military to maintain law and order. Justice Buba upheld the arguments by the plaintiff’s counsel, adding that even President Jonathan does not have the power to deploy soldiers at whim.He dismissed the defendants’ objections to the court’s jurisdiction and to the plaintiff’s locus standi, saying Gbajabiamila had the legal right to demand an interpretation of the constitution by the court.
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