The Abuja division of the Federal High Court has set aside June 11 to commence hearing in a suit seeking the proscription of Fulani herdsmen as a terrorist organization.
The plaintiff in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/499/18 is also seeking the “prohibition of all activities of Fulani herdsmen in Benue State that has resulted in the deliberate and intentional killings, masscare, 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 instituted by a Makurdi-based legal practitioner, Matthew Nyiutsa, is seeking the leave of court to compel President Muhammadu Buhari and the 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 (MAKH) as terrorists and terrorist organisations, respectively.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole fixed the date after the ex parte motion dated and filed at the registry of the court on May 11, 2018, brought pursuant to order 34 Rule (2) and (3) of the Federal High Court (civil procedure) rules, 2009 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court, was assigned to him for adjudication.
The lawyer, who resides in Guma, Benue, said he is one of the numerous victims of continuous Fulani herdsmen attacks on communities in the middle belt state.
He asked the court to declare as acts of terror the series of armed attacks, particularly from January to May, 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, resulting in the death of over 200 persons, and the destruction of both private and public property. He cited section 1(3) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 as amended, to argue his case.
The plaintiff, who is demanding the sum of N50 million as exemplary damages against the respondents, further asked the court to declare that the “Attorney General of the Federation and President Buhari (1st and 2nd respondents) have mandatory statutory duties and obligations under section 2 of the Terrorism (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 (MAKH) having been reasonably suspected of carrying out the said criminal activities and acts of terrorism as terrorists and terrorists group respectively.”