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Femi Aborisade sues Buhari, Makinde over insecurity in Oyo

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An activist, Femi Aborisade, has sued federal and state authorities for their alleged negligence in curbing violent activities of armed herders and other criminals in some parts of Oyo State.

The plaintiff alleged the authorities “have failed to secure the lives and property of people” living in Ibarapa Central, Ibarapa East, Ibarapa North, Saki East and Saki West Local Government Areas of the state.

He filed the suit at the Federal High Court in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, Wednesday, praying for an order directing the authorities to arrest, investigate and prosecute suspected criminals in the areas.

He asked the court to enforce the fundamental right of the people in the area to life guaranteed by section 33 of the Nigerian Constitution and Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement).

The court document on Thursday shows President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State listed as two of the five defendants.

The other defendants are the Attorney-General of the state, the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Commissioner of Police, Oyo State Command.

Mr Aborisade, who is also a lawyer, argued that the respondents “are under a legal obligation to arrest, investigate and prosecute suspected armed herders, suspected armed robbers and suspected kidnappers” in the area.

The Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun axis of Oyo State has been a hotbed of violent activities of armed herdsmen who are often blamed for the rampant kidnapping for ransom, killings and raping of women in the area.

In the absence of decisive action by government, an acclaimed Yoruba warlord, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho, recently evicted some Fulani herders in the area, generating tension across the country.

Mr Aborisade stated in the affidavit filed in support of his suit that he hailed from Itasa in Iwajowa Local Government Area of Oyo State, “but that he and other persons living or working in the affected communities have been subjected to untold violent attacks by armed kidnappers and bandits consistently, in an unprecedented degree, particularly in the last three years.”

He added, “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.

“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.

“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,” he added.

He said several appeals made by concerned citizens to the respondents to halt the violent attacks on the people “have been ignored without any justification”.

Mr Aborisade, who is the interim chairman of Alliance for Survival of COVID-19 and Beyond, (ASCAB), an orgainsation chaired by Nigerian lawyer, Femi Falana, said unless his prayers were granted, “insecurity, menacing threats to life and property in the aforementioned Local Government Areas of Oyo State will continue unabated”.
Prayers

Mr Aborisade prayed for, among others, and order directing the five 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 the areas”.

Besides, he asked the court to issue “an order directing the respondents to adopt adequate measures to ensure the protection of the life and property of every person” in the mentioned places.

The plaintiff also asked the court “to establish Conflict Resolution Committees (CRC) among the various communities in Ibarapa axis including Igangan, Atisbo, Irepo, Iseyin, Itesiwaju, Iwajowa, Kajola, Oorelope, Olorunsogo, Saki East and Saki West Local Government Areas of Oyo State forthwith.”

Although the respondents have yet to file their defence, the spokespersons for the presidency and the Federal Government have always pushed back blames for the insecurity in the country insisting that the situation is better under the current Buhari administration than it was under the past administrations.

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