Wednesday, June 13, 2018 6:59 pm
The Federal High Court, Abuja has fixed June 21, to rule on a suit seeking the proscription of Fulani herdsmen as a terrorist organisation.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole fixed the date after listening to an ex-parte application filed by a Makurdi- based legal practitioner, Mr Matthew Nyiutsa.
Nyiutsa is seeking the leave of court to compel President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney -General of the Federation (AGF) to move a court of competent jurisdiction to proscribe herdsmen as a terrorist group.
He said that this was with particular reference the herdsmen operating in Benue.
Nyiutsa, who appeared in person, told the court that he was a victim of the continued attacks by “Fulani herdsmen’’ on communities in Benue which resulted in the death of more than 200 persons and the destruction of private and public properties.
“Properties such as residential houses, hospitals/clinics, churches, schools, bridges and markets worth billions of naira have been destroyed.
“The herdsmen have also caused grievous bodily injuries to several hundreds of people as well as take-over ancestral houses of displaced persons in Mbadwen, Uvir, Mbabai, Nyier and Mbayer/Yandev among others.’’
He submitted that the series of armed attacks particularly from Jan 1, to May, on inhabitants of communities in Guma, Logo, Makurdi, Gwer-East, Buruku, Tarka, Katsina-Ala and Ukum Local government Areas of Benue were acts of terrorism.
This according to him is as defined under Section 1(3) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 as amended.
Nyiutsa further submitted that his right to ventilate his predicament under Section 6 of the 1999 Constitution must be preserved and protected by the court.
He urged the court to grant the application so that it could be heard on its merits.
The plaintiff in the suit is demanding the sum of N50 million as exemplary damages against the respondents.
He further prayed the court to declare that the AGF and the president had mandatory statutory duties and obligations under the act to prevent acts of terrorism perpetuated by the Fulani herdsmen.
Justice Kolawole, after listening to his submission, reserved ruling until June 21.