Commercial Law

Aborishade sues Buhari, Makinde to court over Fulani herdsmen killings

A legal twist was on Tuesday, February 10, 2021 added to the killings of the Oyo State people in some areas by Fulani herdsmen as human rights lawyer, Femi Aborishade filed a suit before a Federal High Court, Ibadan, demanding that both Federal and State governments are duty bound to provide security for people of the state, particularly areas that has been invaded and terrorized by the deadly herdsmen.

Areas listed by Aborishade in the suit filed by his lawyer, Femi Falana SAN include Ibarapa Central, Ibarapa East, Ibarapa North, including Igangan; Atisbo, Irepo, Iseyin, Itesiwaju, Iwajowa, Kajola, Oorelope, Olorunsogo, Saki East & Saki West Local Government Areas of Oyo State.

Joined as respondents in the Motion on Notice filed before the court are Governor of Oyo State and the Attorney General; President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the Attorney General of the Federation; and Oyo State Commissioner of Police.

The applicant seeks the following reliefs from the court:

  • DECLARATION that every person resident or working in Ibarapa Central, Ibarapa East, Ibarapa North, Including Igangan; Atisbo, Irepo, Iseyin, Itesiwaju, Iwajowa, Kajola, Oorelope, Olorunsogo, Saki East & Saki West Local Government Areas of Oyo State is entitled to the fundamental right to life guaranteed by Section 33 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,1999 as amended and article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap A9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
  • A DECLARATION that every person resident or working in Ibarapa Central, Ibarapa East, Ibarapa North, Including Igangan; Atisbo, Irepo, Iseyin, Itesiwaju, Iwajowa, Kajola, Oorelope, Olorunsogo, Saki East & Saki West Local Government Areas of Oyo State  is entitled to the fundamental right to freedom of movement guaranteed by section 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,1999 as amended and article 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap A9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
  • A DECLARATION that the Respondents are under a legal obligation to protect the life and property of every person in Ibarapa Central, Ibarapa East, Ibarapa North, Including Igangan; Atisbo, Irepo, Iseyin, Itesiwaju, Iwajowa, Kajola, Oorelope, Olorunsogo, Saki East & Saki West Local Government Areas of Oyo State forthwith.
  • AN ORDER directing the Respondents to arrest, investigate and prosecute suspected armed herders, suspected armed robbers and suspected kidnappers who commit criminal trespass, rape, murder, armed robbery, kidnapping and other criminal offences in Ibarapa Central, Ibarapa East, Ibarapa North, Including Igangan; Atisbo, Irepo, Iseyin, Itesiwaju, Iwajowa, Kajola, Oorelope, Olorunsogo, Saki East & Saki West Local Government Areas of Oyo State.
  • AN ORDER directing the Respondents to adopt adequate measures to ensure the  protection of  the life and property of every person in Ibarapa Central, Ibarapa East, Ibarapa North, Including Igangan; Atisbo, Irepo, Iseyin, Itesiwaju, Iwajowa, Kajola, Oorelope, Olorunsogo, Saki East & Saki West Local Government Areas of Oyo State  forthwith.
  • AN ORDER directing the Respondents to establish Conflict Resolution Committees among the various communities in Ibarapa Central, Ibarapa East, Ibarapa North, Including Igangan; Atisbo, Irepo, Iseyin, Itesiwaju, Iwajowa, Kajola, Oorelope, Olorunsogo, Saki East & Saki West Local Government Areas of Oyo State  forthwith.

The applicant listed six grounds for seeking the reliefs. They are:

  • Every person resident and/or working in Nigeria is entitled to the fundamental right to life guaranteed by section 33 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,1999 as amended and article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap A9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
  • Every person resident and/or working in Nigeria is entitled to the fundamental right to freedom of movement guaranteed by section 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,1999 as amended and article 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap A9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
  • The Respondents are under a legal obligation to protect the life and property of every person living and/or working in Ibarapa Central, Ibarapa East, Ibarapa North, Including Igangan; Atisbo, Irepo, Iseyin, Itesiwaju, Iwajowa, Kajola, Oorelope, Olorunsogo, Saki East & Saki West Local Government Areas of Oyo State.
  • The Respondents are under a legal obligation to arrest, investigate and prosecute suspected armed herders, suspected armed robbers and suspected kidnappers who commit criminal trespass, rape, murder, armed robbery, kidnapping and other criminal offences in Ibarapa Central, Ibarapa East, Ibarapa North, Including Igangan; Atisbo, Irepo, Iseyin, Itesiwaju, Iwajowa, Kajola, Oorelope, Olorunsogo, Saki East & Saki West Local Government Areas of Oyo State.
  • The Respondents have failed to guarantee the fundamental rights of the people living and/or working in Ibarapa Central, Ibarapa East, Ibarapa North, Including Igangan; Atisbo, Irepo, Iseyin, Itesiwaju, Iwajowa, Kajola, Oorelope, Olorunsogo, Saki East & Saki West Local Government Areas of Oyo State to life and freedom of movement.
  • The Respondents have failed to secure the lives and properties of people living in Ibarapa Central, Ibarapa East, Ibarapa North, Including Igangan; Atisbo, Irepo, Iseyin, Itesiwaju, Iwajowa, Kajola, Oorelope, Olorunsogo, Saki East & Saki West Local Government Areas of Oyo State.

Aborishade in a 19 paragraph affidavit he deposed to state that he is from Itasa in Iwajowa Local Government Area of Oyo State. “I am also the Interim Deputy Chair of Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 And Beyond (ASCAB), Oyo State Chapter”, he stated.

He averred that he and other persons living and/or working in the areas listed in the writ have been subjected to untold violent attacks by armed kidnappers and bandits consistently, in an unprecedented degree, particularly in the last three years.

“As a result of the violent attacks, several people have been killed while many others have been shot and machetted by the assailants, particularly in the aforementioned Local Government Areas making up Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun geographical areas of Oyo State;

Owing to several violent attacks by armed kidnappers and bandits, I have not been able to visit members of my family living in Itasa, in Iwajowa Local Government Area of Oyo State for the past one year;

The armed gangs and bandits have violently attacked many farmers and dispossessed them of their farmlands, scores of women and girls have been abducted and raped by the armed gangs and bandits in the aforementioned Local Government Areas making up Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun geographical areas of Oyo State”.

The applicant stated further that Police Stations in the said Local Government Areas of Oyo State have failed or refused to arrest and prosecute the members of the armed gangs terrorising law abiding persons. “Many girls living in the said Local Government Areas of Oyo State have stopped attending schools for fear of abduction by the armed gangs”, he further stated.

He stated that several appeals made by concerned citizens to the Respondents to halt the violent attacks on the people living and/or working in the aforementioned Local Government Areas of Oyo State have been ignored without any justification. “The Respondents have failed to provide the persons living and/or working in the said  Local Government Areas of Oyo State with security to protect their lives and properties. Unless the reliefs sought by me in this Application are granted, insecurity, menacing threats to life and property in the aforementioned Local Government Areas of Oyo State will continue unabated”.

Aborishade said that his involvement in efforts to ensure peaceful co-existence between herders and the host community in Itasa was thwarted by influx of herders who are not known to the resident Fulanis in Itasa. “It reduced the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to nothing but a paper tiger in the absence of government involvement in such mutually agreed framework for peaceful co-existence initiated by communities”.

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