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ECOWAS court rules in favour of Agatu over 2016 killings

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Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice has ordered Nigeria to investigate the 2016 mass killings and destruction of property in Agatu Community of Benue State.

The Federal Government was also mandated to identify and prosecute the perpetrators as well as resettle the victims.

Delivering judgement in a suit brought by a Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Solomon Mfa, and 11 others, a three-member panel of the court found the government in “violation of its obligation to protect the human rights of the Agatu Community and prevent its violation.”

In suit no: ECW/CCJ/APP/11/16, Mfa with Rev. Joseph Dooga, Dr. Sam Abah, Dr. David Iordaah, Ochepo Yakubu, Terse Tange, Favour Adah Paul, Samuel Ijoho, Iorbee Bajah, Ashi Bajah, Terseer Bajah and Movement Against Fulani Occupation (MAFO) had sued the president of Nigeria, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and the Minister of Internal Affairs alleging the violation of their fundamental human rights.

The applicants claimed that within the last three years, Fulani herdsmen had carried out over 50 major attacks on Benue communities, the most prominent of them taking place in 15 out of 23 councils.

The president, Justice Edward Asante, presided over proceedings, while the judgement read by Justice Dupe Atoki, ordered the government to provide adequate security by deploying more security personnel to the “area to protect the community and prevent further occurrences of that mayhem.”


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