Herdsmen Attacks, Delta State Govt And Matters Arising

By Chamberlain Akpojiyovbi

LAGOS OCTOBER 17TH (NEWSRANGERS)-This is to draw the attention of all DELTANS both at home and in diaspora  to the  Public Interest Case Filed at the Federal High Court, Asaba on the 2/3/2020 via Suit No: FHC/ASA/CS/51/2020 Between Chief Malcolm Emokiniovo  Omirhobo suing for himself and Deltans  Vs.The Delta State Government & 11 0rs. for the enforcement of the Fundamental Rights to Life, Dignity of Human Person, Personal Liberty, Freedom of Movement, 

Right to Freedom from Discrimination and the Right to own landed property  of the Applicant and those of the Nigerian Public  in Delta State occasioned  by the unwarranted ,  incessant and unabated attacks  by  Fulani Herdsmen  on Deltans  with  the connivance, collaboration and acquiescence of constituted  authorities.  

So far ,  case has been adjourned thrice on 18/3/2020, 2/4/2020 and 14/10/2020 .  The Federal Government, Attorney General of the Federation , the President of Nigeria and the Nigerian Army have  filed  their Counter-Affidavits and as   expected  denied the Applicant’s Chief Omirhobo  claims of the killings , kidnapping, raping, extortion  and  destruction.of properties of Deltans  by some marauding  Fulani herdsmen . The Delta State Government, the Delta State Governor  and   the Attorney General of Delta State       who are  also Respondents in the    case  filed  their Counter  Affidavit  denying  the Applicant’s   averments as speculative and untrue   and putting  Chief Malcolm Omirhobo     to the strictest  proof thereof . 

The trio denies :         

1. That for over a decade  now that Delta State has been illegally and unlawfully occupied by  some Fulani herdsmen of both Nigerian and foreign extraction with the tacit support of constituted authorities .

2 That on Christmas day, 25/12/2016, some Fulani  herdsmen          killed two  young men at their prime  in Ohoro, Uwheru Ughelli,  for  trying  to stop cattle from destroying their farm produces.

3 That for several years the some Fulani herdsmen have been collecting tolls from the farmers of their host communities like   Uwheru, Ughelli  before they are allowed to access their farm.

4.That the extortion and occupation of  Uwheru and  several other  Communities in Delta State  by Fulani herdsmen have been reported to the Delta State Government who have failed , refused and/or neglected  to date to do anything   about it .

5. That on 17/3/2018  some Fulani herdsmen attacked and shot at farmers on fishing expedition in the bush at Oreba Village of Uwheru Community, instantly killing four and seriously injuring several others.

6.That on 13/2/2020 and 15/2/2020 respectively the Owheru Community was attacked by some Fulani herdsmen  an Military men , killing over 10 people, injuring several others who are hospitalized and many more persons missing up till today.

7. That as a result of the above the youths of Owheru  Community staged a  protest on the Patani express way following which the Military men shot live billets on them killing one and injuring several.protesters .la

8. That  6 exhumed corpses and 2 others making 8  corpses have been recovered and lodged at the mortuary by a team of the Owheru youths, the Nigerian Police and the Nigerian Army. 

9 That on 4/3/2018, some Fulani herdsmen chopped off Mthe fingers and toes of Mr. Osakwe Benard, 48, a father of five and a farmer in Abraka Delta State for trying to stop them from grazing their herds from the farm.

10 That on 24/3/2017, some Fulani herdsmen, cruelly and    gruesomely slaughtered Mr. Sunday Idama, a staff of the Delta State University at Ovre-Abraka Community, Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State by cutting him severally with their Machetes until he bleed 

to death for challenging them for constantly uprooting his Cassava and feeding their Cows with them.  

11. That some Fulani herdsmen on 9/5/2017 in Abraka Ehthiope Local government area of Delta state used their cattle to block the road and open fire with their Ak-47 riffle on a team of police officers on routine patrol, killing the inspector on the spot and injuring three others. 

12  That on 21/2/2018 Mrs. Patience Akpomiemie and  her husband Mr. Happy Akpomiemie were attacked in their farm at Abraka, Ethiope Local Government area of Delta State, by Fulani herdsmen.                                            

13 That both of them were shot at which resulted in the death of the husband on the spot while the wife died later at the Delta State University Teaching Hospital, (DELSUTH), Oghara.

14 That the people of Abraka cannot go to their farms, rivers and bushes for fear of the presence of Fulani herdsmen on their land .

15. That the people of Abraka are apprehensive of losing their lives, brutalized dehumanized, kidnapped for ransom or robbed by Fulani herdsmen marauders .

16 That on 24/11/2018, one Anthony Ejabare, a 54 year old pipe-line guard was shot dead by some Fulani herdsmen in the process of defending his wife from being raped by Fulani herdsmen at Edjekota,Ogor Kingdom\Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State. 

17 .That   women are being  raped  in Delta State in their houses , farms, bushes and rivers sides . 18 That Women no longer go to their  farms alone for fear of being raped or kidnapped by Fulani herdsmen.

19 That because of incessant brutal rape of women in Delta State, hundreds of housewives, women/females including unmarried ladies stage several protest blocking major roads in Delta State.

20 That on 26/4/2016 some Fulani herdsmen held 8 persons hostages in Obiaruku Community Ukwani Local Government Area of Delta State from 6.00am to 1.00pm and brutalized them claiming that four of their cattle were killed and butchered in the neighbourhood.

21 .That on 19/1/2018, at Aniocha-Olona, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, marauding Fulani herdsmen killed a farmer by name Sunday Owneze who refused to allow their cattle graze on his farm land.

.22.That in the early hours of 21/1/2018,  four persons a woman and three men on their way to farm, at Ovwor-Olomu, Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State were attacked by some Fulani herdsmen and woman raped .

23 That on 29/4/2018 some Fulani herdsmen daggered to death two farmers to death at Onocha-Olana Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta.

24  That also on 29/4/2018 some Fulani herdsmen attacked the residents of Ubulu-Uku Community, Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State severely injuring six persons over disagreement on the use of their land by the Fulani Herdsmen. 

25.That Fulanii herdsmen have taken over the entire Delta State, bushes and high ways engaging in kidnapping and armed robbery.

26 That on 2/2/2019, some Fulani herdsmen shot dead an Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP, at Umuachi-Afor Community, Ndokwa East Local Government Area, Delta state.  whilst on duties with his team .

27 That on 18/5/2019 some Fulani herdsmen killed a farmer Chief Albert Chikwe, the Ade of Abugba at his farm in Udo Village while another young man who was shot escaped with a bullet wound in Ubulu-uku Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State.

28. That  within two weeks in June 2019 Fulani herdsmen shot dead an illustrious son of Ubulu-Uku, Mr Chikwe Ojinji  and the Medical Director of Goodnews Hospital Iselle-Uku, Dr Andrew Odozi a native of Onicha-Ugbo.

29. That the the Governor of Delta State held  meeting with the President of Nigeria   behind closed doors on 7/6/2019 yielded nothing to stop the killings, raping, kidnapping, exhortation ,  destruction of properties and subjugation of the Nigerian Public in Delta State by the Fulani herdsmen,, the Military and Miyetti_Alllah . 

30. That Delta State is not a Cow/Cattle Colony or a RUGA settlement for Fulani herdsmen and their family members .

31 .That Delta State is not one of the States in Nigeria that has embraced the National Livestock Transformation program.

32.That ranching is a better way in the 21st Century to rear Cattle as opposed to open grazing of Cattle.

33.That open grazing of Cattle is unfashionable, out dated and archaic way of rearing Cattle.  

34 That while practicing open grazing of Cattle, the Fulani herdsmen has infringed on the fundamental rights of the Nigerian Public in Delta State.

35 That open grazing of Cattle by the Fulani herdsmen and members Miyetti Allah  resulted in the killings, raping, kidnapping, extortion, brutalization and destruction of the properties of members of the Nigerian Public in Delta State

.36. That the killing of unarmed members of the Nigerian Public, in Delta State, the kidnapping, raping, robbing, intimidation, coercion , extortion and destruction of properties of members of the Nigerian Public in  Delta State is terrorizing to the Nigerian Public in Delta State .

37. That  Fulani Herdsmen are permitted by  constituted authorities  to be armed with unlicensed AK 47 and Assault Rifle while the Nigerian Public in Delta State are not given the chance to be armed with licensed guns for self defence.

39That   the Fulani herdsmen have been   killing , raping, extorting  kidnapping , brutalizing , destroying  the properties of other Nigerian Citizens without any consequences under the law, the impunity which other Nigerian Citizen does not enjoy.   

From. the facts of the case we cannot but ask  on whose side is the Delta State Government  and His Excellence Governor Okowa  ? For the Delta State Government  and Governor to deny facts that are already  in the public domain  is rather  unfortunate , regrettable, irresponsible , highly  disturbing and an insult to the collective  sensibility and intelligence of Deltans .

Chamberlain  Akpojiyovbi, a social commentator writes from Lagos

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