The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice has adjourned a case of alleged breach of human rights filed by Movement Against Fulani Occupation (MAFO) against the Federal Government till Nov. 9. The presiding judge, Justice Friday Nwoke, adjourned the case on Monday for hearing, following a motion on notice for an extension of time filed by the defendants.
Nwoke, however, declined the request for cost by the applicant. Earlier, Counsel to the plaintiffs, Mr Terence Vembe, did not oppose the motion of notice and requested for a cost of 500 thousand naira. Joined in the suit are: Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai as first, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth defendants respectively.
The suit was filed in April on behalf of Rev. Fr. Solomon Mba, and 11 others, representing the victims of attacks by herdsmen in Benue. The plaintiffs are asking for an order directing the defendants to pay a compensation of N500 billion for unlawful violation of their rights. They also prayed the court to direct the defendants to pay the sum of N25 million as cost of prosecuting this suit.
The plaintiffs also want the court to direct the first and second defendants to set up an Investigative Panel to investigate attacks committed by herdsmen over the years and implement its findings. They alleged that herdsmen had carried out more than 50 major attacks on Benue communities within the last three years.
They also claimed that more than 1000 people had been killed; hundreds of thousands displaced and living in deplorable make shift camps and properties worth billions of naira were destroyed from attacks by herdsmen in 2016 alone. They similarly claimed that the most prominent attacks were carried out in 15 out of 23 local government areas of the state. They claimed that communities, where these attacks were carried out, had become desolate and devastated due to wanton destruction of lives and property.
The plaintiffs also alleged that the Federal Government carried out a sustained violation of their human rights as enshrined in the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights by not providing security and protection to the communities against the attacks. They said even when the locations of the perpetrators of these attacks were known to the security agencies but they refused to accost the attackers and prevent further attacks.
Send your press release/articles to: