Judge refuses to preside over case seeking to declare herdsmen as terrorist group

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declare herdsmen as terrorist group

 


A judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, has declined to preside over a suit seeking to declare herdsmen as terrorist group.

Justice Dimgba declined to preside over the suit on Wednesday, August 29, saying he was not comfortable to adjudicate on the matter as a vacation judge.

A Makurdi-based legal practitioner, Mathew Nyiutsa, lodged the suit before the court, who said nine members of his family were killed by armed herdsmen in 2014.

He said another set of victims from 24 different families were killed by armed herdsmen on January 1, 2018, at Tom-atar in Benue state.

The plaintiff was told by the judge that the case file would be returned to the chief judge to be re-assigned to a regular court after vacation.

The plaintiff had prayed the court to proscribe herdsmen’s activities in Benue state. According to him, the herdsmen deliberately kill people and also destroy both private and public properties, including residential and commercial houses, schools, hospitals/ clinic, markets, water boreholes/reservoirs. He stated that the herdsmen also invade ancestral lands of the inhabitants.

According to the plaintiff, the activities of marauding herdsmen in Benue and other parts of the country constitute acts of terrorism under the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 as amended.

It should be recalled that the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP)  had sent a letter to the United Nations Security Council to declare killer herdsmen as terrorists.

The group called on the UN to “Urgently hold a special session on Nigeria and visit the country to press the authorities to end the killings and destruction of properties by suspected herdsmen across Nigeria, particularly in the North-Central of the country.

 


 

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