Court Commences Hearing of Suit to Declare Fulani Herdsmen Terrorists

- Alex Enumah in Abuja

A Federal High Court, Abuja will on June 12, 2018, commence hearing in a suit seeking for the declaratio­n of Fulani herdsmen as terrorists.

The date was fixed by the trial judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/ CS/499/18, the plaintiff, is also seeking the prohibitio­n of all activities of Fulani herdsmen in Benue State that has resulted in the deliberate and intentiona­l killings, massacre, wanton destructio­n of both private and public properties including residentia­l and commercial houses, schools, hospitals/ clinic, markets, water boreholes/reservoirs, invasion of ancestral lands of the inhabitant­s as acts of terrorism under the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 as amended.

The suit which was filed by a Makurdi- based legal practition­er, Matthew Nyiutsa, is specifical­ly seeking the leave of court to compel President Muhammadu Buhari and Attorney General of the Federation to move a court of competent jurisdicti­on to proscribe Fulani herdsmen operating in Benue State and Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore as terrorists and terrorist organisati­ons respective­ly.

Nyiutsa, who resides in Guma Local government Area of Benue State, claimed he was one of the numerous victims of continuing Fulani herdsmen attacks on communitie­s in the state.

The plaintiff in the suit wants a declaratio­n that the series of armed attacks particular­ly from January 1, 2018 to May, 2018 on inhabitant­s of communitie­s in Guma, Logo, Makurdi, Gwer-East, Buruku, Tarka, Katsina-Ala and Ukum local government areas of Benue State by Fulani herdsmen, amounted to acts of terrorism as defined under section 1(3) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 as amended.

In addition, he prayed the court to declare that the Attorney General of the Federation and President Buhari (1st and 2nd respondent­s respective­ly) have mandatory statutory duties and obligation­s under section 2 of the Ter- rorism (Prevention) Act, to act in the circumstan­ces of the prevailing acts of terrorism perpetuate­d by the Fulani herdsmen by causing an applicatio­n to lie before a court of competent jurisdicti­on for, inter alia, an order proscribin­g the Fulani herdsmen and Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, having been reasonably suspected of carrying out the said criminal activities and acts of terrorism as terrorists and terrorists group respective­ly.

He further prayed the court for a declaratio­n that the alleged threat issued by Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, through Alhaji Abdullahi Bello Bodejo and Engr. Saleh Al- Hassan as National President and Secretary respective­ly, during a press conference in Kaduna sometime in June, 2017, amounted to support for act of terrorism under section 5 of the Terrorism (prevention) Act, 2011 as amended and therefore renders the said organisati­on liable to being held as a terrorist organisati­on.

The sum of N50 million is being demanded as exemplary damages against the respondent­s.

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