Stop Media From Attributing Bandit Attacks to Fulani: Lecturer Asks Court, Demands N100m Damages

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Dr. Ahmadu Shehu, a university professor, has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to order media outlets to stop attributing terrorist or bandit attacks in any region of the nation to Fulani people.

Shehu, a Fulani from Adamawa State, requested an order directing nine media outlets joined as respondents in the lawsuit to jointly pay him N100 million as exemplary damages in a motion on notice filed before Justice Inyang Ekwo with the file number: FHC/ABJ/CS/1729/2022.

According to him, the request was made against the respondents individually or jointly for violating his fundamental human rights in accordance with Section 46 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s Constitution and Article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The applicant is Sehu, while the first through third respondents are the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

Also joined in the suit are Channels Television Ltd, African Independent Television (AIT) Ltd, Guardian Newspaper NIg Ltd, Peoples Gazette Ltd, Vintage Press Ltd, ThisDay Newspaper Ltd, African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc, TVC Communications, Vanguard Media Ltd as 4th to 12 respondents respectively.

In the lawsuit filed on September 1. 21st, 2022, and submitted Sept. Shehu requested five declarations and three orders on March 29, 2022 through his attorney, Mohammed Yunusa.

These include “a declaration attributing unproven banditry and/or terrorist attacks in different parts of Nigeria to people of Fulani extraction.

“The 4th to 12th respondents’ description of those who carry out such attacks as “Fulani Herdsmen” and/or “Fulani Bandits” is excessive, unconscionable, discriminatory, and a violation of their right to enjoy all civil rights recognized and guaranteed by Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, Article 1 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms Of Racial Discrimination, and Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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“An order of perpetual injunction prohibiting the fourth through twelfth respondents, their privies, agents, and successors, but as described, from further attributing any bandit or terrorist attack, past or present, to people of the Fulani ethnicity.

“An order of perpetual injunction prohibiting the fourth through twelfth respondents, their privies, agents, and successors from further referring to the perpetrators of banditry and/or terrorist attacks as “Fulani Herdsmen” or “Fulani Bandits.”. ‘”.

The Kaduna-based lecturer stated in the affidavit he deposed to that “the attribution of violent, gruesome banditry and terrorist attacks by unscrupulous elements to the ethnic identity of the Fulanis was insulting and discriminatory against peaceful and civil persons of that ethnicity,” as in his case.

Millions of people of Fulani descent, he claimed, were working lawfully in the federal, state, or local government, as well as in the private sector. They were dispersed throughout Nigeria, living in peace, and making positive and constructive contributions to the country’s political and economic landscape.

He claims that for more than a century, the Fulani people and other ethnic groups in Nigeria have coexisted peacefully.

Shehu pleaded with the court to answer his prayers in order to uphold and defend his fundamental human rights and in the name of justice.

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