Femi Falana, SAN, a popular Nigerian Lawyer and human rights activist, is set to file a case of genocide and ethnic cleansing at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Hague and the ECOWAS Court, against incessant Fulani herdsmen massacre of innocent people and farmers in Jukunland, of Southern and Central Taraba State, in North Eastern part of Nigeria, The Nation reports.
The Lagos-based lawyer, nevertheless, called on the Federal Government to take immediate and drastic action in opposition to the Fulani herdsmen massacre being executed by the herdsmen against defenseless farmers before they launch Nigeria into another round of war, which can be prevented.
He expressed a feeling of disturbed surprise at the scale of the “unprecedented massacre of unarmed farmers” whose lives are being destroyed daily by these herdsmen in Jukunland in Taraba State as well as other parts of North Central Nigeria. According to the lawyer, the act was “a mindless pogrom.”
Mr. Femi Falana said this in his office when he received the leaders of the Jukun Development Association of Nigeria who had come to hand over to him a document of 1000 pages, in which the targeted cleansing of their people by the rampaging herdsmen were detailed. He said:
“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 properties are no longer safe from these people who killed and maim, and rape women at will just because they wanted their cattle to graze on other people’s farmlands”.
The rights activist, therefore, charged the Federal Government of Nigeria, to deploy security agencies to the North Central state of Taraba in order to protect the lives of innocent Nigerians who are being murdered in their farmlands on a daily basis by the blood-thirsty herdsmen, before the people resort to self help.
While submitting the document, the National President of the Jukun Development Association of Nigeria, Mr Benjamin Bako, said the group had approached the legal luminary to help defend their cause and draw attention to the plight of their people who are being killed everyday by the ravaging herdsmen. Mr. Bako said:
“Jukun Development have officially compiled a 1000 paged document containing details of Fulani herdsmen massacre, including names of all the individuals killed and properties destroyed by the herdsmen in the last four years in Jukunland to human rights lawyer Chief Femi Falana (SAN), who had been briefed to formally file a case of genocide on behalf of the association.”
Bako who further urged Falana to fight for the right of the Jukun people and other tribes so that they can live in their ancestral homelands peacefully, also wondered why President Muhammadu Buhari has remained silent over the issue of the herdsmen, not minding the barrage of security reports that must have reached him concerning the declining development in Southern Taraba.
He also called on Nigerians and the international community to speak up and show complete disapproval of the genocide and ethnic cleansing going on in Southern Taraba, in North Central Nigeria, before it creeps into other parts of the nation. The association’s president also revealed that the group has since submitted copies of the document to Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and other rights organisations around the world.