Insecurity: Nigerians lawfully allowed to bear guns – Falana counters Army Chief

Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) has countered the assertion of Taoreed Lagbaja, the Chief of Army Staff, on arms bearing.

Mr Lagbaja on Sunday asserted that Nigerians were not legally allowed to bear arms to defend themselves.

The military chief was speaking in connection to the recent killing of over 200 residents in Bokkos local government area of Plateau State during the yuletide, noting that if Nigerians are allowed to wield guns in self-defence it would result to anarchy.

Taoreed Lagbaja, Chief of Army Staff.

However, the legal practitioner differed, saying, “In the first place, it is not correct to say Nigerians have no right to bear arms.”

Mr Falana who appeared on Channels TV’s Sunrise Breakfast show said both the penal and criminal codes applied respectively in the North and South recognised self-defence.

He, however, said the instances with which guns should be used must be proportional to that of the attacker.

“In the first place, we have to discuss the rights and proceed to examine the propriety,” he said. “In other words, if someone aims a gun at me, and I can quickly grab another gun, I have the right to shoot.

“All I am not allowed to do is not use a force that is not proportional to the threat.“

“In other words, If you are going to hit me with a cane I must not go for a gun which is not proportional,“ he said.

He answered in the affirmative on wether it was legally allowed for Nigerians to bear guns, adding that, “But you are required to apply for the licence first.“

Falana is not the first to support the right of citizens to bear arms in the face of worsening insecurity nationwide. Lawmakers and governors in the past, made similar calls, urging the federal government to accede to their demands.