Human rights lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) has called on Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state to use his constitutional powers to tackle the killings in the State. Recall that several people were killed in Benue on New Year’s Day by suspected Fulani herdsmen, with Ortom calling on the Federal Government to come to the State’s rescue.
However, reacting to the development on Tuesday, Falana pointed out that under Section 215 of the Constitution, Ortom has the right to order the Benue State Police Commissioner to arrest all known criminal suspects. In addition, the senior lawyer noted that upon the arrest, the governor should direct the Attorney-General of Benue State to arraign them in court.
According to him, this is anchored on the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Anambra State v. AG, Federation (2005) 9 NWLR (PT 931) 572 at 616, where Uwais CJN (as he then was) held: “The Constitution in Section 215 subsection (1) clearly gives the Governor of Anambra State the power to issue lawful direction to the Commissioner of Police, Anambra State, in connection with securing public safety in the State.”