Herdsmen Killings: HURIWA Backs Move to Prosecute Miyetti Allah Leaders

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A non-governmental organi-sation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has commended the order of the Benue State High Court authorising the prosecution of the leaders of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Owners Association for the spate of bloody attacks and killings of hundreds of local farmers and Christians in the state.

HURIWA has also warned the Nigeria Police Force not to undermine the constitutional authority of the High Court of the state by failing deliberately to enforce its lawful orders that the leaders of the Miyetti Allah be brought to the High Court to be prosecuted for their roles in the series of attacks and violence unleashed on the people of Benue State.

 The group in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, and National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, stated that the landmark decision of the Makurdi High Court which okayed the prosecution of the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and others over the killings in the state must be enforced “unless and except the presidency is the chief sponsor of the attacks and will therefore jeopardise the trial of these leaders of the Miyetti Allah.

“The president must demonstrate to Nigerians that he is the leader of all Nigerians by allowing the wheel of justice to run smoothly and not be manipulated by the Nigeria Police to do the bidding of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Owners Association who have always bragged that the president is their Chief Patron, and so, they can do whatever they like and get away with it in flagrant breach of the Constitution of Nigeria.”

HURIWA noted that Nigerians from all walks of life must take interest to see how the development in the Benue State High Court progresses especially the imperative of the neutrality of the policing institution which must be allowed to enforce the lawful orders of the high court which derives constitutional powers from Section 6 of the Constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended).

“Nigerians must watch the level of compliance by the Nigeria Police which of recent have been converted to the foot soldiers of the presidency to an extent that the Inspector General of Police (IG) disrespected the National Assembly twice even after he was invited by the central legislative arm under their constitutional mandate to provide responses to some burning issues relating to the spate of attacks and killings of innocent Nigerians. We in the organised civil rights community are monitoring the judicial process to see whether the hierarchy of the police will fail to carry out the lawful injunction of the competent court of law.

“Unfortunately, President Buhari has continued to shield the Miyetti Allah’s leadership from arrest and prosecution over their provocative media statements which directly instigated the killings following the passage of the anti-open grazing law by the Benue State House of Assembly. The civil society community should mount considerable pressures on the federal government to stop the ongoing conspiracy of silence and the refusal of President Buhari to take concrete and verifiable actions to initiate the declaration of Miyetti Allah as a terrorists group and to round up their leaders for prosecution over their roles in the killings in Benue State and across the North-central region of Nigeria,” the statement said.