Some indigenes of Ebonyi have asked the Federal High Court, Abuja to invalidate the laws establishing the Ebubeagu Security Agency of Ebonyi as well as the Cyber Crime (Prohibition) law 2021 enacted by the State House of Assembly.
This is contained in two separate suits filed by the indigenes questioning the legality and constitutional powers of the Ebonyi government to enact such laws.
In an originating summons marked FHC/ABJ/CS/114/2022, the Incorporated Trustees of Patriotic Youth Organization and Mr Solomon Ukpai have challenged the constitutional competence of the state government to establish the Ebubeagu Security Agency.
According to them, such powers are exclusively rested with the President.
The plaintiffs listed the President, the National Security Adviser; the Attorney -General of the Federation; the Inspector -General of Police; the Department of State Services, (DSS); the Attorney- General of Ebonyi and Ebonyi House of Assembly as defendants in the suit.
In their originating summons dated Jan. 31 and filed by their counsel, Mr Okoro Nkemakolam, the plaintiffs prayed the court to declare that the creation and or establishment of the Ebubeagu Security Agency in the state by the state government was illegal and ultra vires the executive powers of the state in view of the relevant statutory provisions.
Specifically, they urged the court to declare that by the combined provisions of Sections 4(1,2,3,5, 6 & 7), items 2, 38, 45 & 68 of the second schedule part 1, of the 1999 Constitution, the Ebonyi House of Assembly had no legislative competence, and constitutional powers whatsoever, to legislate or make any law, creating Ebubeagu Security Agency in the state.
They maintained that by the above provisions of the law, the court should further declare that any issue pertaining to arms and ammunition, army, police and any other government security services established by law, was within the exclusive legislative competence of the National Assembly.
The plaintiffs further argued that the arming of Ebubeagu Security Agency in Ebonyi with sophisticated weapons by the state government, without the requisite approvals from the President and the Inspector- General of Police was against the provisions of the law.
“Particularly Sections 3 and 4 of the Firearms Act, and it also contravenes the provisions of item 2, of the second schedule part 1, of the constitution.”
Accordingly, the plaintiffs are seeking an order of injunction restraining the Ebonyi government from sponsoring, using, creating and further establishing by law, any other government security outfits in the state.
They asked the court to make an order restraining the inspector-general of Police and the DSS from supervising, coordinating, funding and providing any form of logistics or tactical support to the Ebubeagu Security Agency in the state in contravention of relevant laws.
They equally asked for an order directing the inspector- general of Police and the DSS to arrest and prosecute any member of the security outfit who was found operating as such, after the judgment of the court.
In the second suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/112/2022, the plaintiff, Mr Lazarus Eze urged the court to declare the entire Cybercrimes (Prohibition) Law 2021, enacted by the Ebonyi House of Assembly null and void on the grounds that it was inconsistent with the provisions of the Cybercrimes(Prohibition) Prevention Act, Etc), enacted by the National Assembly.
He prayed the court for an order nullifying, invalidating all steps are taken, decisions, resolutions or publication of names of any of the plaintiffs, or indigene of Ebonyi on the government’s watchlist and prosecution, conviction, sentencing and incarceration of any of the plaintiffs or any indigene, pursuant to the Cybercrimes (Prohibition) Law, 2021, enacted into law by the state government.
The suits have not yet been assigned to a judge.