Human rights lawyer, Chief Femi Falana (SAN), will next Monday file a case of genocide and ethnic cleansing at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Hague, Netherland and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court against Fulani herdsmen for their alleged massacre of the innocent people and farmers in Jukunland of Southern and Central Taraba State.
Falana also called on the federal government to take urgent and drastic actions against the massacre being perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen against innocent farmers before they throw the country into another avoidable war.
The Lagos-based lawyer expressed shock at the scale of “unprecedented massacre of unarmed farmers” allegedly being killed by herdsmen in Jukunland in the state and other parts of Nigeria everyday, describing it as “a mindless pogrom.”
He lamented the crises yesterday when he received in his office the leaders of the Jukun Development Association of Nigeria (JDAN) who had come to submit to him a 1,000 page document detailing the targeted cleansing of their people by the rampaging herdsmen.
“It is very clear by the pictorial and other evidence contained in this evidence that the people of the North-central Nigeria are going through terrible things daily in the hands of these herdsmen. Lives and property are no longer safe from these people who killed, maim and rape women at will just because they wanted their cattle to graze on other people’s farmlands,” he said.
Falana therefore charged the federal government to move security agencies to the North-central region of Taraba State in order to protect the lives of innocent Nigerians “who are being killed in their farmlands everyday by these blood sucking herdsmen before the people resort to self-help.”
The National President of the Jukun association, Mr. Benjamin Bako, said the group had approached the Senior Advocate of Nigeria to help defend their cause and draw the world attention to the plight of their people who are being killed everyday by ravaging herdsmen.
Bako disclosed that JDAN had compiled 1,000 page document to back their claim, detailing the atrocities of the herdsmen in their land in the last four years.
He said it was baffling that most of the violence had gone unreported in the media, despite the large and worrisome scale of the pogrom.
“Jukun development association has officially compiled a 1000 paged document containing details of Fulani herdsmen atrocities, including names of all the people killed and property destroyed by the herdsmen in the last four years in Jukunland to Falana who had been briefed to formally file a case of genocide on behalf of the association,” he stated.
The association president, while submitting the document, urged the human rights lawyer to fight for the right of the Jukun people and other tribes to live in their ancestral homelands peacefully, wondering why President Muhammadu Buhari has kept silent all this while despite the avalanche of security reports that must have been reaching him concerning the deteriorating development in Southern Taraba.
Bako called on all Nigerians and the international community to stand up and condemn the genocide and ethnic cleansing ongoing in Southern Taraba before it spreads to other parts of the country.
He added that the association had since submitted copies of the document to Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and other rights organisations around the world.