Activist Drags Buhari, Makinde, Others to Court over Alleged Banditry in Oyo

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Alex Enumah in Abuja

A human rights activists and Oyo State-based legal practitioner, Mr. Femi Aborisade has dragged the federal and Oyo State governments to court over the activities of armed bandits and other criminals in parts of Oyo State.

Aborisade in the fundamental human rights suit filed on behalf of himself and residents of Ibarapa Central, Ibarapa East, Ibarapa North, including Igangan; Atisbo, Irepo, Iseyin, Itesiwaju, Iwajowa, Kajola, Oorelope, Olorunsogo, Saki East and Saki West Local Government Areas of Oyo State, is seeking an order of court directing the respondents to guarantee the protection of their fundamental rights as enshrined in the 1999 constitution.

Respondents in the suit filed before the Ibadan Division of the Federal High Court are; Oyo State Governor, Attorney General of Oyo State, President of Nigeria, Attorney General of the Federation and the Oyo State Commissioner of Police.

The suit filed on his behalf by another human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana, (SAN) is dated and filed on February 10, 2021.

It is specifically praying the court for an order “directing the respondents to arrest, investigate and prosecute suspected armed herders, suspected armed robbers and suspected kidnappers who commit criminal trespass, rape, murder, armed robbery, kidnapping and other criminal offences in Ibarapa Central, Ibarapa East, Ibarapa North, Including Igangan; Atisbo, Irepo, Iseyin, Itesiwaju, Iwajowa, Kajola, Oorelope, Olorunsogo, Saki East & Saki West Local Government Areas of Oyo State”.

The plaintiff further sought for another order directing the respondents to adopt adequate measures to ensure the protection of the life and property of every person in the above-mentioned local government areas of Oyo State forthwith.

The suit predicated on six grounds, is amongst others claiming that the respondents are under a legal obligation to protect the life and property of every person living and/or working in Ibarapa Central, Ibarapa East, Ibarapa North, including Igangan; Atisbo, Irepo, Iseyin, Itesiwaju, Iwajowa, Kajola, Oorelope, Olorunsogo, Saki East and Saki West Local Government Areas of Oyo State.

It further argued that respondents are under a legal obligation to arrest, investigate and prosecute suspected armed herders, suspected armed robbers and suspected kidnappers who commit criminal trespass, rape, murder, armed robbery, kidnapping and other criminal offences in the affected local government areas.

In a 19-paragraph affidavit deposed to in support of the suit, plaintiff averred that several appeals made by concerned citizens to the respondents to halt the violent attacks on the people living and/or working in the aforementioned Local Government Areas of Oyo State have been ignored without any justification

Plaintiff further claimed that as a result of the violent attacks, several people have been killed while many others have been shot and macheted by the assailants, particularly in the aforementioned Local Government Areas making up Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun geographical areas of Oyo State.

He said: “Scores of women and girls have been abducted and raped by the armed gangs and bandits in the aforementioned Local Government Areas making up Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun geographical areas of Oyo State.

“The Respondents have failed to provide the persons living and/or working in the said Local Government Areas of Oyo State with security to protect their lives and properties. Plaintiff claimed that unless the reliefs sought by him in this suit are granted, insecurity, menacing threats to life and property in the aforementioned Local Government Areas of Oyo State will continue unabated”.