A lawyer, Malcom Omirhobo, has filed a suit before the Federal High Court, Asaba, Delta State, seeking a stop to open grazing and alleged killings and kidnapping by herders in some parts of the state.
The suit marked FHC/ ASB/CS/51/2020 was filed on Wednesday.
Named as respondents to the suit, included the Delta State government; Governor Ifeanyi Okowa; the state’s Attorney General, the House of Assembly, Delta State Commissioner of Police, and others.
Others are the Federal Government, President Muhammadu Buhari; Attorney General of the Federation, Inspector-General of Police, Nigerian Army and the trustees of the herders’ association, Miyetti-Allah Kautal Hore Socio-Cultural Association.
The plaintiff alleged that clashes between herders and farmers had resulted in loss of lives and injuries, mostly on the part of the host communities.
He added: “The herders used to arm themselves with sticks, spears, daggers and bow and arrow to protect themselves from cattle rustlers.
“Now, they arm themselves with unlicensed AK-47 and assault rifles with which they intimidate and coerce other indigenous peoples of Nigeria hosting them to have their way in utilising their land.”
He prayed the court to, among other things, declare as a flagrant violation of his rights and others guaranteed by Section 33 of the constitution, that, “the killing of members of the Nigerian public in Ubulu-Uku, Isele-Uku, Oniche-Olona, Onicha-Ugbo, Onocha-Olona, Orvre R’Oruarivie Abraka Kingdom, Ovwor-Olomu, Edjekota Ogor Kingdom and Uwheru and environs of Delta State by armed herders and members of the 12th respondent with the tacit support of the 1st to 12th respondents.”
He also sought an order compelling the 1st to the 11th respondents “to perform their sacred and primary duties and responsibilities to protect and respect.
Before now, the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) Worldwide had called on the Federal Government to urgently tame the activities of marauding herdsmen across Urhoboland and other parts of the country, warning that it would no longer tolerate any further attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen in their communities.
It also called on the Delta State House of Assembly to immediately revisit and enact anti-grazing law to halt the continued killings of farmers and locals by terrorists operating in the name of herdsmen particularly in the state.
President General of UPU, Olorogun Moses Taiga, gave the warning when he led the leadership of UPU and other prominent Urhobo leaders on a condolence visit to the palace of the traditional ruler (Odion R’ Ode) of Uwheru Kingdom in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, HRM Agbaovwe Afugbeya, Iyise ll, over the recent killings of Urhobo indigenes by suspected herdsmen.