Agatu people drag Federal Government to ECOWAS Court
Lamenting the inability of the Federal Government to protect them against the activities of suspected Fulani herdsmen, a group of Agatu indigenes
have dragged the Federal Government before the ECOWAS Court, asking for an order for the government to pay N10 billion as compensation to the Agatu people for deaths, injuries and destruction of properties due to the inaction of the government in preventing the gross violation of their fundamental rights by alleged Fulani herdsmen.
They have also asked for the rebuilding of their communities complete with infrastructure.
They were disturbed that despite the wholesome level of human rights violations by the so called “Fulani herdsmen” in March 2016, the President; the Minister of Interior and the Inspector General of Police – have refused to visit the victims and the communities.
In a litany of woes to the court, beginning from May 2013, the group recounted how hundreds of lives have been lost with little or no action from the federal authorities.
“The Defendant and its relevant agencies were informed of this gross violation of human rights in Agatu, but no step or measure was taken by the Defendant and its top officials to halt or address the killings and destruction of properties by the Fulani herdsmen,” the plaintiffs told the court
They lamented that the midnight of 12 May 2013, villagers were attacked in their Communities by heavily armed men. The army of attackers formed rings round the dwelling houses and then set fires to the buildings. Thereafter, they laid siege and killed – through gunshots, arrows and machetes – the inhabitants running out of the burning houses.
They stated further in documents to the Court released yesterday evening: “Some of the Plaintiffs and others victims in the communities were lucky to escape into the bushes due to the fact that the assailants could not hound and kill all the inhabitants at the same time. Most women, children and the elderly could not escape and were killed in cold blood.
“The attacks lasted through the night and into the next day. When the Marauders left the burnt down settlements, hundreds of citizens, including the Plaintiffs’ family members and relatives, had been killed. Hundreds of survivors were also maimed, raped, burnt, and disabled from the attacks by persons later identified as “Fulani herdsmen”.
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