An activist and lawyer, Mr. Femi Aborisade, has approached a Federal High Court in Ibadan seeking an order to compel the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, and three others to arrest killer herdsmen and bandits.
Aborisade, who is the Interim Deputy Chair of Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond, Oyo State Chapter, also joined the Attorney-General of the Federation, the states attorney-general and the Oyo State Commissioner of Police in the suit which was instituted on Wednesday.
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The applicant is seeking an order for the enforcement of his fundamental rights and of all persons 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 to life, freedom of movement and property.
In the suit filed by his lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), the activist is seeking six reliefs including a declaration that Buhari, Makinde and the other respondents are “under a legal obligation to protect the life and property of every person 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 forthwith.
“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.”
In the supporting affidavit deposed to by Aborisade, the activist stated that he and other persons living and working in the affected Oyo towns had been subjected to untold violent attacks by armed kidnappers and bandits consistently, in an unprecedented degree, particularly in the last three years.
He said as a result of the violent attacks, several people had been killed while many others had been shot and by the assailants, particularly in the aforementioned local government areas making up Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun geographical areas of Oyo State.
“Owing to several violent attacks by armed kidnappers and bandits, I have not been able to visit members of my family living in Itasa, in Iwajowa Local Government Area of Oyo State for the past one year,” Aborisade said.
He said the police stations in the said local government areas of Oyo State had failed or refused to arrest and prosecute the members of the armed gangs terrorising law abiding persons.
The activist stated that he had been actively involved in efforts to ensure peaceful co-existence between herders and the host community in Itasa but influx of herders who are not known to the resident Fulani in Itasa had reduced a Memorandum of Understanding signed by interested parties to nothing but mere paper in the absence of government involvement in such mutually agreed framework for peaceful co-existence initiated by communities.