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Public Order Act deemed 'Unconstitutional' by Nigerian Appeals Court

By Can Tran     Dec 12, 2007 in World
Currently, the appeals court in Nigeria had deemed a law requiring every organizer of a rally to have a special police permit as ‘unconstitutional.’ Police say that the law helped maintain peace.
This law that was declared unconstitutional by the appeals court was challenged after police used tear gas to disperse at an opposition rally back in 2003 in the northern state of Kano. According to BBC, the police would adjust its procedures from what the police spokesman had said.
But the spokesman has denied the allegations of authorities using the law to suppress activities of the opposition.
So far, one of the opposition coalitions, the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties has challenged the Public Order Act. They said it was used by impunity to stifle the opposition. This group was formed when Olusegun Obasanjo was president of Nigeria.
However, in the law’s defense, Assistant Commissioner of Police Agborebi Akpoyedi said it helped police keep peace. This goes especially when opposing political groups held rallies at the same time.
Six people were killed last month in clashes in Kano. Those clashes were linked to the local elections.
More about Nigeria, Africa, Kano