A legal practitioner, Mr Chuks Nwachukwu, has described the operation by the military including its show of force near the home of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, in Abia State as an act of terrorism.
Nwachukwu said during an appearance on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’, that what the military was doing in the South East was not backed by the Constitution.
He said, “This Operation Python Dance is unconstitutional, it is illegal, it is an act of terror. It is defined as an act of terror by the Nigerian Terrorism Prevention Act.”
He added, “I disagree with the person who said where there is suspicion of unrest, the army can be deployed. That is absolutely incorrect.
“You have the civil forces – the police, the DSS, what is their job? The civil forces are to engage any situation of breach of the law by anybody. The army should not have been there in the first place.”
The clash between the military and members of IPOB in Abia on Sunday had sparked a debate with both parties disagreeing on what happened and who was at fault.
On its part, the military said troops were only going through the streets of Isiama Afara, Umuahia area of the state, the hometown of the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu in a show of force, when IPOB members attacked the troops with stones and sticks, injuring a soldier and a civilian in the process.
Mr Kanu, however, told journalists that the soldiers were trying to force their way into his home.
He said, “I was sleeping this evening (Sunday) when suddenly I was woken up by the blaring of sirens. Initially, I thought it was the Commissioner of Police who lives in the neighborhood that was returning home. But the blaring persisted and was followed up by sporadic gun shots.
“The soldiers wanted to bulldoze their way into the palace but IPOB members formed a human shield and resisted them. They wanted to break the shield and fired at three persons and wounded others before leaving. Everybody including children was running away in confusion.”
But the Director, Director of Defence Information, Major-General John Enenche has since denied the allegation, accusing members of the IPOB of attacking the soldiers.
“The truth is that we were just on their normal operation patrolling and some chaps who were later identified to be IPOB members came, blocked the road and said they should not pass.
“And they denied them access and it was peaceful and they started throwing stones at them, missiles, stones and things that are hard objects to the extent of injuring a soldier on his head and then a passerby by – one lady.
“That was what happened,” Enenche had during an appearance on Sunrise Daily on Monday.