Muslims members of Southern Kaduna community in Kaduna State have dragged the Federal Government to the ECOWAS Court of Justice sitting in Abuja, asking the court to order the FG to pay them the sum of N105bn as compensation for failing to protect them from an alleged ethno-religious cleansing carried out by indigenous members of the community after the April 2011 presidential election.
The suit came up for hearing on Wednesday, and it was filed on behalf of the Southern Kaduna Muslims by the following plaintiffs – the Registered Trustees of Jamaa Foundation, Alhaji Suleiman Ahmed, Alhaji Muhammed Zailani, Malam Sale Waziri, Wada Balarabe and Yakubu Yunusa. The Federal Government of Nigeria and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice were listed as the respondents.
According to them, the Federal Government failed to protect them from a premeditated mayhem which led to the death of 838 members of their community on April 18 and 19, 2011. In the suit filed by their lawyer, Abdulfatah Bello, they claimed that “the premeditated mayhem was executed in Kamuru Ukulu on the 18th day of April 2011.”
They said, “In the evening of the said day while the Muslim community were enjoying the peace of the after effect of the presidential election, their habitat was surrounded by some indigenous youths who mounted illegal road blocks to and from the town.” In the civil disturbances that ensued shortly after the road block was set up, their members lost lives and property while relevant agencies of the government failed to restore order in the community. Also, none of those responsible for the alleged crime has been arrested.
They therefore asked the court to declare that the failure of the respondents to provide timely protection for them was unlawful and violated their human rights, as guaranteed under the African Charter of People and Human Rights, and the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Also, the Southern Kaduna Muslim community asked the court to order the Federal Government to pay them a total of N105bn as compensation.