Home » Court Invalidates Governor Bello’s Firearms Task Force in Landmark Ruling

Court Invalidates Governor Bello’s Firearms Task Force in Landmark Ruling

by Victor Adetimilehin

In a groundbreaking judgment, the Federal High Court in Abuja has ruled against the Special Task Force on Illegal Smuggling of Firearms established by Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State. The court further affirmed the rightful authorities responsible for regulating firearms and ammunition possession in Kogi State and across the nation.


Justice James Omotosho, in delivering the judgment, declared Governor Bello’s unilateral attempt to regulate firearms in Kogi State as unconstitutional. The court underscored the roles of the Department of State Services (DSS), the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), the Inspector General of Police, and the National Security Adviser (NSA) in overseeing firearms and ammunition.


Justice Omotosho emphasized that Governor Bello lacked the authority to independently regulate or control firearms in Kogi State. The appointment of Mr. Friday Makama as Director General of the special task force by the governor was deemed “illegal, null, and void.”


The judgment arose from a suit filed by Ahmadu Danjuma, a concerned indigene of Kogi State, represented by his lawyer, Mr. Promise Ogbadu. Governor Bello had initially challenged the court’s jurisdiction to hear the case, asserting that it should have been filed in either a State High Court or the Federal High Court in Kogi State. However, the court dismissed his objections, maintaining that the matter was within the purview of the Federal High Court in Abuja due to its subject matter jurisdiction.


The ruling represents a significant decision on the regulation of firearms in the country. It reaffirms the role of federal agencies in overseeing firearms and ammunition, establishing a legal precedent for such matters. The judgment comes as a significant development in the ongoing debate over the control and regulation of firearms in various states in Nigeria. It clarifies that the responsibility for overseeing firearms and ammunition lies with federal agencies and not with individual state governments.


This decision by the Federal High Court aligns with the need for a consistent approach to firearm regulation across the country to maintain law and order and enhance security. The ruling has also brought into focus the critical role of the judiciary in upholding constitutional principles and ensuring that the division of powers and responsibilities as outlined in the nation’s constitution is respected.


Governor Bello’s attempt to regulate firearms was seen as overstepping the boundaries of his office. The court’s decision emphasizes the importance of adhering to legal procedures and the rule of law when making such significant policy changes.


The legal battle and subsequent ruling have sparked discussions about the relationship between state and federal authorities and their respective powers. The need for a coordinated approach to address issues related to firearms, security, and public safety has become increasingly evident.


Overall, this judgment sets a legal precedent that reinforces the role of federal agencies in regulating firearms. This landmark ruling is likely to have far-reaching implications for similar cases in the future, promoting a more unified and consistent approach to firearms regulation across the country.


Source: [Vanguard]


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